Beat Thunderbirds 64-62 in opening round; will face Hallsville in semis on Thursday
Nobody said it would ever be easy as the No. 1 seed in the Centralia Invitational Tournament.
The Boonville Pirates basketball team found that out firsthand Tuesday night in the opening round by staving off an upset bid by the No. 8 North Callaway Thunderbirds for a 64-62 victory.
The Pirates, 4-0 on the season, will face fourth-seeded Hallsville in the semifinal round Thursday night starting at 6 p.m. The Indians defeated No. 5 Centralia 66-51.
Boonville Pirates basketball coach Scott Floyd said this was not the way he envisioned starting the tournament.
“I thought the kids came out flat on both offense and defense,” Floyd said. “A lot of credit goes to North Callaway who played a really good game. They shot the ball extremely well and played well in their zone defense. Our kids could simply not get into a flow offensively. Some good outside shooting kept us close in the first half. We had a size advantage in the post tonight but did not take advantage of the size difference until the second half when we were able to get the ball inside and penetrate the stingy zone.”
The Pirates showed little resistance in the first quarter while leading North Callaway 20-17. However, in the second quarter, the Thunderbirds roared back with a 16-8 advantage to lead at the break by a score of 33-28.
The second half was pretty much like the first as Boonville jumped out on top with a 20-15 scoring edge to tie the game at 48-all. Meanwhile, in the final period, the Pirates outscored North Callaway 16-14 to win the game by two.
Floyd said as the game went on the boys in blue were able to get good looks offensively. But then, he said, the problem became getting stops.
“We tried zone, press and full court pressure, but North Callaway was able to take advantage of our spotty defensive performance,” Floyd said. “With that being said, we were able to get some key stops late in the game by forcing turnovers on three consecutive possessions. North Callaway deserved to win tonight. They simply ran out of time. However, I thought our kids were resilient and kept up their effort throughout the game despite North Callaway’s outstanding effort. We have to put this game behind us and get ready to face a tough No. 4 seed in Hallsville. Hallsville will press and take teams out of their offense. We have to be mentally sharp on Thursday in order to handle the defensive schemes of the Indians.”
Riley Lang led a balanced attack for Boonville with 28 points along with seven rebounds, four assists and one steal.
Ryan Beaver added 16 points, two assists, one rebound and one steal while Nick Zeitlow had seven points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals, Alec Adair with six points, four assists, three steals and two rebounds, Gio Strickland four points, six rebounds, two assists and one steal, Avery Reardon two points, three rebounds and one assist, Brandon Johnson one point and three rebounds and Clayton Gochenour with one assist.
Boonville also finished the game hitting 23 of 52 shots from the field for 44 percent and 10 of 21 from the foul line for 48 percent. North Callaway was 5 of 9 from the line for 56 percent.
Cody Danison had 19 points to lead the Thunderbirds while Tully Thomsen added 13 and Tanner Pezold 10.
In other games on Tuesday, No. 2 Salisbury turned back Macon 49-34 while No. 3 Harrisburg throttled Sturgeon 70-52.