Drop to 7-1 overall and 2-1 in the NCMC

Leading by nine  with 43 seconds left in the third quarter may have been a bad thing for the Boonville Pirates basketball team Thursday night at home against the Moberly Spartans.
While taking a nine-point lead in to the half, the Pirates also led by as much as 12 in the second half against the Spartans. But then the unthinkable happened. Boonville became stagnant on the offensive end of the floor late in the ballgame, which in turn allowed Moberly to go on a run in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 43-all with 3:27 left.
Any momentum that Boonville had in the first-three quarters was also thrown out the window as Moberly outscored the Pirates 41-26 in the second half en route to a 57-51 victory.
The loss also came on the heels of the Pirates winning their first-seven games, which included two straight wins over conference opponents and a championship just last weekend in the Centralia Tournament.
The loss dropped Boonville to 7-1 overall and 2-1 in the NCMC.
“We let this game slip away from us tonight,” said Boonville Pirates basketball coach Scott Floyd. “The team felt good going into halftime up nine points.  We kept pace with them in the third quarter and we were still up seven going into the fourth.  But then Moberly started to heat up in the fourth quarter by hitting some early 3’s and dissecting our zone.  I thought we played tentatively in the fourth on the defensive end.  We were in a little foul trouble and I thought that caused us to play on our heels defensively.   
“Once the momentum shifted Moberly’s way and they were able to take the lead, I thought we became tight on the offensive end.  Once Moberly got the lead they were able to hit some free throws as well to seal the game.  We played very well for the first 24 minutes of the game, but the last 8 minutes we rushed shots and were not able to get into an offensive flow.  We couldn’t get stops in the fourth  which stopped our transition game.  This was all compounded by the fact that we did not shoot well tonight shooting only 36% for the game.  
“The first seven games of the season we have been able to weather other team’s runs, but tonight we just did not have an answer for Moberly’s fourth quarter run.  It would have been nice to get this conference game at home.  But with that being said, we are 7-1 and I like where this team is at.  We are efficient offensively and pretty solid on defense.  Fortunately we get eight more practices before we play again on the December 30th.  As always, we will get some things ironed out, add a few wrinkles to our offense and defense, and get ready for the second half of the season.”
Of course neither team could hit the side of the barn early on as Moberly led 10-9 after the first eight minutes. However, in the second quarter, the Pirates began to find their way to the basket a little more and turned a one-point deficit into a nine-point lead by outscoring Moberly 16-6 in the period to lead at the break 25-16.
Boonville also had its way early on in the third quarter while leading by 12 (32-20) after a three by senior Alec Adair with 6:43 left. However over the final six minutes of the period, the Spartans also began to find their footing a little better by outscoring the Pirates 14-9 to cut the lead to seven at 41-34.
The fourth quarter, however, proved to be the difference as Moberly rallied back to tie the game at 43-all with 3:27 left. Then, after a basket by Riley Lang at the 2:58 mark to put Boonville up 45-43, the Spartans came back and reeled off seven straight points during a one minute span to go ahead for the first time since the first quarter by a score of 50-45 with 1:27 remaining.
The Pirates made it interesting, though. After a three by Lang with 1:11 left to cut the lead to two at 50-48, Boonville picked up a another huge break when Moberly took a three on the other end of the floor in the final minute. However, on its next possession, the Pirates turned it back over to Moberly and then fouled on the shot by sophomore Braeden Wetrich for the three-point play to make it 53-48.
Lang hit another big three after that to cut the lead to two at 53-51 with 29 seconds left. Unfortunately for the Pirates, they would get no closer in the ballgame as Moberly came back and hit four free throws in the final 28 seconds for the victory.
Calvin Davis had 18 points and Braeden Wetrich 15 for Moberly.
For Boonville, Lang finished the game with 21 points along with five rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Alec Adair had 18 points, three assists, three steals and one rebound while Ryan Beaver added eight points, two rebounds, two assists and one steal, Avery Reardon four points, five rebounds and one steal, Nick Zeitlow with eight rebounds, two assists and one steal, Gio Strickland one assist and one steal, Dylan Watson and Brandon Johnson each with one rebound and Clayton Gochenour with one assist.
Boonville also finished the game shooting 36 percent from the field and 53 percent from the foul line.
In the JV game, the Pirates improved to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the NCMC by beating Moberly 76-29.
The Pirates outscored Moberly in all four quarters and led 42-13 at the half and 66-21 after three quarters of play.
Boonville JV coach Jesse Oswald said the boys played extremely well tonight.  
“There wasn't a whole lot more we could've done better tonight,” Oswald said. “Early on, we forced a lot of turnovers and didn't allow them to get into a rhythm.  Offensively, we didn't have to run a whole lot of offense.  When we did, I thought we were patient and executed to perfection, getting us a lot of easy buckets inside.  We were also hitting outside shots.  I thought Dylan Barnthouse came in and gave us solid minutes off the bench.  He got hot and was feeling it and the guys were looking to him to score.  Kellen Brownfield was another who came out and attacked the basket and played aggressively.  Defensively, our half court defense was a lot better than it has been and we were able to limit them to one shot.”
Avian Thomas led all scorers in the game for Boonville with 19 points. Dylan Barnthouse chipped in 15, Malik Brazil 14, Trae Williams 11, Kellen Brownfield six, Tramell Coleman and Kyle Chrisman each with four and Jaylen Butner and Tyler Schuster with two points each.
For Moberly, Hayden Hopper had 11 points.