The Boonville Pirates basketball team was due to beat the Hallsville Indians at some point this season.
After losing a heartbreaker against Hallsville in the Tri-County Conference Tournament and dropping a five point decision in the Centralia Tournament, the Pirates felt it was their time to win.
Although Hallsville was missing one of its better players, Boonville will take this win just the same after beating the Indians 62-57 to improve to 9-6 overall and 2-1 in league play.
The win over Hallsville also marked the third straight for the Pirates, which started last Friday against Clinton and continued on Tuesday with an upset win over state-ranked Centralia.
Boonville Pirates basketball coach Jesse Oswald said this was another close game that the boys were able to buckle down and find a way to win with energy, effort, intensity, and efficiency.
“I thought we jumped out on them offensively and played smart together, but defensively I think we let them stay in the game in the first half by giving up too many offensive boards,” Oswald said. “It was a physical game and we struggled matching their intensity early on. We started the second half slow like we have a lot this year, but again we were able to calm our nerves and focus on the small things we needed to do.
“Eventually we started playing again and did what we needed to do. We started rebounding better and aside from a couple of lazy turnovers, we took care of it. Down the stretch we hit free throws which we have struggled to do all year long. This was our third win in a row and we will hope to take this momentum with us into Mexico tomorrow for a matchup with the Bulldogs.”
The Pirates also fed off the momentum from the upset win over Centralia.
Although Boonville outscored Hallsville in three out of the four quarters of play, the Indians led at two different times in the opening period while taking a 2-0 lead and a 6-5 advantage at the 4:22 mark.
It was pretty much all Boonville after that as the Pirates held a 18-12 lead after one thanks in part to the hot shooting of senior Clayton Gochenour, who finished the first quarter with eight of the team’s 18 points with two threes. Sophomore standout Charlie Bronakowski also had eight in the period, which all came within a one minute stretch.
Of course it was no secret what Hallsville had to do to get back in the ballgame against Boonville. Although the Pirates continued to stay one step ahead of the Indians with a 16-15 advantage in the second to lead 34-27 at the half, it was Hallsville bombing away from the three point arc with nine points.
But even that couldn’t stop the Pirates from taking a 14 point lead twice in the second quarter at 28-14 with 5:33 left and again at 34-20 with 2:11 remaining. However from the 1:56 mark on in the first half, Hallsville found its way back by reeling off eight straight to cut the lead to seven at 34-27.
The Indians also made it interesting in the third quarter by tying the game on three different occasions at 34-34, 36-36 and 43-43. Hallsville even outscored Boonville 16-11 in the third. However with 5 seconds left in the period, Bronakowski brought the crowd to its feet with another two handed dunk to make it 45-43.
The fourth quarter was just as close at the third, with Hallsville again tying the game at 45-all after two free throws by senior BJ Fisher. However it was pretty much all Boonville after that as the Pirates came back and extended the lead back up to six with 1:50 left. Then, after Hallsville made another run to cut the lead to three at 56-53 with 1:23 remaining, Boonville picked up a big basket by Bronakowski and two free throws each from Josh Chrisman and Sam Esser to seal the victory.
Bronakowski finished the game with 22 points to lead all scorers for Boonville. Gochenour tossed in 19 points while Avian Thomas added six, Josh Chrisman and DJ Wesolak each with five, Tramell Coleman three and Sam Esser with two.
The free throws also proved to be Boonville’s best friend as the Pirates converted on 12 of 18 shots for 67 percent.
For Hallsville, Clayton Cook had 28 points.