The Boonville Pirates basketball team had the perfect season opener Tuesday night in the opening round of the Tri-County Conference Tournament in Ashland.
As the No. 5 seed versus the No. 4 seeded Tigers, head coach Jesse Oswald said the game was not an easy one as Boonville defeated Versailles 81-72.
The Pirates, 1-0 on the season, will play top-seeded Southern Boone of Ashland on Thursday starting at 6 p.m.
“I thought we looked nervous and timid to start the game,” Oswald said. “We were able to take the lead going into halftime and I felt we calmed ourselves at that point. First half we had a lot of unforced turnovers and missed opportunities to score. The second half I thought we did a better job of taking care of the basketball and putting the ball in the basket. Versailles has two really good scorers and we bottled them up for about three quarters before they got loose. However, I thought we had built a big enough lead and was still smart with the basketball and scoring on offense. We forced them into a lot of turnovers and I thought that kept them out of rhythm for most of the game. Although it wasn’t pretty at times, I thought this was a good win for having not played yet.”
Of course it didn’t look good for Boonville, as they trailed 18-13 at the end of the first quarter. But that all changed in the second quarter as the Pirates outscored Versailles 20-14 to go up by one (33-32) at the break. Boonville never trailed after that by outscoring Versailles 23-15 in the third to extend the lead to 56-47. Meanwhile, in the fourth quarter, Boonville matched Versailles with 25 points to win the game by nine.
Clayton Gochenour had 25 points to lead all scorers for Boonville. Charlie Bronakowski chipped in 24 while Tramell Coleman had 11, Avian Thomas 10, Malik Brazil five and DJ Wesolak and Josh Chrisman each with four.
For Versailles, Colby Williams had 27 while Wyatt Espinosa chipped in 18.