There are good wins and then there are great wins. Saturday’s third place game between the No. 3 Boonville Pirates and No. 4 Sturgeon Bulldogs was a great win.
While the Pirates wound up pulling away from Sturgeon in the fourth quarter for a 64-58 victory, the win also pulled Boonville even for the season at 3-3.
“Although we had to play behind most of the game, I was happy we were able to dig deep and find a way to pull this one out,” Oswald said. “We struggled hitting shots again in the first half and really concentrated on getting to the basket in the second. Defensively,  I thought we did a good job of doing our jobs. Their best player, who I think is one of the best point guards we will face all year, worked for all 19 of his points.
“I thought we did a good job keeping him out of a rhythm and putting the ball in other players hands. Throughout the game, we showed some different defenses and it forced some turnovers and allowed us to play the way we wanted to play. We've had a couple of tough weeks and it will get us prepared for what's to come. Being able to pull out a game like this where we played from behind, but never let them build a huge lead is going to be big for us down the stretch. It's nice to know we can do this and will give us the confidence we need. We play again Tuesday night at home against the Fulton Hornets in a tough matchup. The way we are playing, I hope we are able to pack the stands and get the crowd and town excited for what we are capable of doing.”
Considering the Pirates were only 8 of 27 from the field in the first half for 30 percent, a three point deficit didn’t look too bad against the Bulldogs.
What helped along the way in the first half was a 6-0 run in the second quarter to cut a seven point lead down to one at 21-20 with 2:20 left.
The Pirates also outscored Sturgeon 11-10 in the second quarter after being outscored 15-11 in the first.
Of course nobody really stood out for the Pirates in the first half as Sturgeon did a good job holding the top two scorers (Charlie Bronakowski and Clayton Gochenour) to a combined eight points.
Boonville and Sturgeon combined for 75 points in the second half. Luckily for the Pirates, they were on the right end of the scoring as Boonville held a 42-33 advantage.
Although the Pirates still trailed Sturgeon 42-39 after three after both teams put up 17 points in the third, the first-three minutes of the fourth quarter really set the tone for the rest of the game. While outscoring Sturgeon 25-16 in the fourth quarter, Boonville went on a 8-0 run in the first-three minutes to go up 47-44. The Bulldogs never led after that as Boonville pulled away late with the help of a 10-0 run to extend the lead to 10 at 63-53 with 28 seconds left.
Sturgeon still made it close in the final second with a three by Logan Flashpohler and two free throws by Kenny Stone to cut the lead back to six.
Clayton Gochenour led three players in double figures for Boonville with 14 points. Tramell Coleman chipped in 12, Charlie Bronakowski 11, DJ Wesolak nine, Josh Chrisman eight and Avian Thomas and Malik Brazil five each.
For Sturgeon, Kenny Stone had 19 points and Logan Flashpohler with 11.
The Boonville boys varsity and junior varsity basketball teams will host Fulton on Tuesday, Dec. 11 starting at 5 p.m.