After beating the North Callaway Thunderbirds 65-35 in the opening round of the Mexico JV Tournament on Saturday, the Boonville Pirates basketball team quickly turned its attention to the next game while facing the Mexico Bulldogs for the title.
Although the Pirates defeated Mexico back on January 29th, they knew this game would be a little tougher on the Bulldogs home floor. As it turned out, Boonville saved its best for last by breaking a 34-34 tie at the end of the third quarter by outscoring Mexico 21-11 in the final period for a 56-44 victory.
Boonville JV basketball coach Jesse Oswald said in the first game against North Callaway the players came out and took control early on.
“They kept it within about 10 for most of the first half, but we were able to jump on them early in the second half and go on a big run and put them away,” Oswald said. “Everyone contributed in some way in getting this win. I thought it set the tone for how we were going to play in both games. We came out with a lot of fire and energy and we were the aggressor.”
The Pirates definitely left little doubt on the game while leading North Callaway 17-11 after first period’s end and 35-25 at the half. However it was the second where Boonville began to pull away by outscoring the Thunderbirds 30-10 for the victory.
Dylan Watson and Philip Udinyiwe finished the game with 10 points each to lead all scorers for Boonville. Clayton Gochenour and Malik Brazil chipped in nine points each while Giovanni Strickland added seven, Joshua Udinyiwe and Dylan Barnthouse each with six, Kyle Chrisman with five and Ryan Sprigg with three.
For North Callaway, Altishere netted 11 points.
As for the game against Mexico, the Pirates took the early lead against the Bulldogs after one period by a score of 13-10. However, in the second quarter, the Bulldogs rallied back with a 17-14 advantage to tie the game at 27-all at the half. The third quarter was also a tie with both teams scoring seven points to make it 34-34. The Pirates never trailed after that by outscoring Mexico by 10 (21-11) in the final period for the victory.
Oswald said the second game was a lot closer but felt the game was never out of their hands.  
“We were able to build a lead midway through the second quarter but I never felt like we were letting the game slip through our hands,” Oswald said.  “Coming out of the second half we were able to make some adjustments on defense and it frustrated them and we forced a lot of turnovers.  Hustle, heart, and grit also played a key factor in this game.  Even though you won't see those three things on a stat sheet, the team who has more of those usually ends up on top, and today it was clearly us.  I felt offensively we started running and gunning a little too fast for our own good, but once we took a breath and relaxed, we controlled the game and we were capable of putting them away.  I was extremely proud of our guys for the way they stepped up in both games.  It's difficult to defeat a team three times, twice on their home court, but we were able to do just that against Mexico.  It's something the guys will remember as well as winning this tournament.”
Clayton Gochenour had the game-high for Boonville, who improved to 12-4 on the season, with 15 points. Watson tossed in 12 while Strickland added eight, Sprigg and Chrisman each with six, Philip Udinyiwe five and Joshua Udinyiwe and Brazil each with two.
Mexico was led by Jai Lawson with 14.