The Boonville Pirates basketball team just can’t seem to get over the hump when it comes to close games this season.
Such was the case Friday night on the road against the Marshall Owls. While the Pirates have had their share of nailbiters this season, the game against Marshall was no exception as Boonville fell in overtime 68-64.
Of course like a lot of games this season, the Pirates led at the half or at the end of three quarters only to have a rally by their opponents in the final period for the victory.
That was the case again Friday night as Boonville led Marshall 32-25 at the half and 43-31 after three quarters of play only to give up 25 points in the final period to forge a tie at 56-all. Meanwhile, in overtime, Marshall outscored Boonville 12-8 to win the game by four.
The loss dropped Boonville to 8-15 overall and 2-8 in the NCMC.
Boonville Pirates basketball coach Jesse Oswald said he’s hoping these close games they’ve been having will set them up for districts.
“They owned the fourth quarter and overtime,” Oswald said of Marshall. “Another close game that we let slip away late. We have struggled all year long with closing out games when we have a lead late. They outscored us 37-21 over the final 12 minutes (fourth quarter and OT). There were a variety of things that led to us not being able to come away with this victory. Our defense was slow to rotate late, especially our back guys. We had a lot of costly turnovers where we threw the ball to their hands in the passing lanes, and then our biggest thing that has hurt us all year was our free throws. We shot below 50 percent yet again, whereas Marshall converted on theirs, shooting 24-30.
“We've lost a lot of close games this year, and free throws has kind of been the constant difference maker. I thought we fought hard the entire game, executed what we needed to do, and played together. But in the end, we allowed them to go on the biggest run of the night, and then we played not lose a lead, instead of playing to win. I feel like that was my fault in that we went away from some of the things we needed to do, that had been working, and I didn't recognize it in the heat of the moment. Again, I hope this makes us better in the long run, but we have to start learning from these situations and not just talk about how they are learning experiences. We have to take something away from it and make ourselves better.”
Marshall was led by Jace Lance with 22, Gage Lewis  17 and Jaylen Varner 12.
For Boonville, Avery Reardon finished the game with 19 points and eight rebounds. Semaj Clark had 16 points, seven rebounds and one assist while Tramell Coleman added nine points, four assists and three rebounds, Clayton Gochenour seven points, two rebounds and two assists, Charlie Bronakowski six points, nine rebounds and one assist, Josh Chrisman six points, five assists and one rebound, Kyle Chrisman one point and one rebound, Kellen Brownfield one rebound and Malik Brazil with one assist.
For the game, the Pirates hit on 24 of 57 shots from the field for 42 percent and 9 of 19 from the foul line for 47 percent.
Marshall also won the JV game against Boonville 52-37.
The Pirates, dropping to 3-12 overall and 3-5 in the NCMC, trailed Marshall 22-15 at the half and then was outscored 30-22 in the second half to suffer the loss.
Boonville JV coach Brock Hill said naturally, some losses are more bothersome than others. “This one bothers me because we beat this team the first time we played them,” Hill said. “We pressed a lot in this game. Quite a bit more than usual. We were not used to this degree of pressure and I think in the long run it hurt us. They were able to make adjustments to our press early and figure us out. We were close at half down by only seven. They came out in a 1-2-2 half court press that we didn’t attack very well. We struggled to score against it. Give credit to Marshall for making the adjustments needed to win this game. We just have to leave this game where it ended and take some lessons home with us. We now prepare for our last home game this year on Tuesday against Moberly.”
Leyton Crawford had 15 and Evan Funk and Malik Evans each 10 for Marshall.
For Boonville, Gabe Lorenz had the team-high with 13 points. Nick Ferrari chipped in 10 while Lane West added six, Nathan Platt four and Sam Esser and Ethan Huntsperger each with two.