The Boonville Pirates basketball team continued its trend, at least for the first half of the season, of allowing teams to hang around in the Peak Sport & Spine MRMC Holiday Shootout at Moberly Area Community College.
While leading by as much as nine with 1:30 left in the ballgame, the Pirates made it interesting in the final period as Macon rallied back to cut the lead to two at 61-59 with 24 seconds left. Fortunately for Boonville, the Tigers never got any closer as the two teams traded points for the rest of the game with the Pirates winning 63-61.
“This was a grind it out win and a game I’m proud we were able to pull it out,” Oswald said. “I felt we were in control most of the game with them only taking a lead briefly at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth. Even then I thought we played within ourselves and took back control of the game. They are tough because they throw a lot of different things at you defensively and we were able to weather the storm. It was a good win after being off for so many days over the break. Now we turn our attention to the Blair Oaks Falcons on Friday at their place.”
The Pirates led at the end of each quarter in the first half but struggled along the way while holding a 14-13 advantage after one and a 29-22 lead at the break.
While turnovers didn’t help Boonville’s cause in the first quarter, as they finished with six, the Pirates still managed to hold on to a one-point lead despite being outscored  5-4 over the final minute and 29 seconds.
Senior Clayton Gochenour, meanwhile, had the hot hand in the second quarter with six straight points. The Pirates also opened the period with 11 straight points to extend the lead to 12 at 25-13 with 4:52 left in the half.
However over the final four minutes and 25 seconds, Macon rallied back with a 9-4 advantage while holding Boonville to a lone field goal to cut the lead back to seven.
The Pirates had their usual one bad quarter in the third as Macon rallied from a seven point deficit to lead Boonville by three at 44-41 at the end of the period.
While the Pirates led by as much as seven-31-24-in the third quarter, Macon cut it to one after reeling off six straight to make it 31-30. Then, after going up 41-37 with 1:54 left, the Pirates again fell asleep offensively while allowing the Tigers to reel off seven straight to closeout the quarter to lead by three.
Macon held a 20-12 advantage in the third quarter but had that all wiped away as Boonville opened the final period with five straight points to go up 46-44.
The Tigers led only once after that by taking a 47-46 lead with 5:20 left. However over the next minute, Boonville came back and reeled off eight straight points to extend the lead to seven at 54-47. Freshman DJ Wesolak also got hot at the right time in the final period with nine of his 11 points.
But while the lead surged to nine at 58-49 with 1:30 left, the Pirates literally tried to give the game away at the foul line by hitting only 1 of 8 shots. Macon got it back to two at 61-59 but would get no closer as Boonville held on in the final seconds for the victory.
Along with winning the game in dramatic fashion, the Pirates also had four players in double figures for the game with Avian Thomas, Clayton Gochenour and Charlie Bronakowski each chipping in 12 points and DJ Wesolak with 11. Tramell Coleman finished the game with six, Josh Chrisman five, Malik Brazil three and Sam Esser with two.
For Macon, Hogatt had 17 points and Lightle 15.