Trailing by two on the road at the end the third quarter without one of your best players was probably the best case scenario for the Boonville Pirates basketball team Friday night against the Mexico Bulldogs.
Although the Pirates entered the game on a three game winning streak, Mexico quietly put that to rest by outscoring Boonville 27-10 in the final period for a 62-43 victory.
While the loss dropped Boonville to 9-7 overall, head coach Jesse Oswald said the score doesn’t tell the whole story of this game. “We played solid defensively and was in the ballgame up until they got hot with about three or four minutes to go,” Oswald said. “I thought defensively we did what we needed to do to keep ourselves in this game, but offensively we struggled to get things going. The fourth quarter I think fatigue played a factor, but we still did everything we could to try and stay competitive but they get a lot of credit for getting hot and hitting some shots to extend the lead.”
Up until the fourth quarter, Boonville and Mexico appeared to rekindle their rivalry for the last 10 years as members of the North Central Missouri Conference. However, after Boonville opted out to join the Tri-County Conference this year, the two teams are now just frequent opponents.
Of course there was nothing frequent about the first-three quarters, with Boonville leading 9-8 after one and 24-21 at the half. However, in the third quarter, Mexico rallied back with a 14-9 advantage to lead by two at 35-33. Meanwhile, in the fourth, the Bulldogs outscored Boonville by 17 to pull away.
Jai Lawson had 15 and Isaiah Reams 14 to lead Mexico.
For Boonville, Clayton Gochenour tossed in 14 points. DJ Wesolak added 10, Tramell Coleman eight, Avian Thomas six and Josh Chrisman with five.
Boonville was also 10 of 19 from the foul line while Mexico converted on 13 of 19 shots.
In the JV game, Boonville defeated Mexico 53-46.
The Pirates, 3-8 on the season, trailed Mexico 29-28 at the break but outscored the Bulldogs 25-17 in the final two periods.
“We started this game strong by building a lead in the first quarter,” said Boonville JV coach Brock Hill. “We led by 15 points at one point and then Mexico made some adjustments and started putting full-court pressure on us. We didn’t handle it well and were down at half 29-28. We fought hard in the second half and came out with the win. I feel like we are starting to put it all together and find ways to win. Great win but now we have to put it behind us and focus on what’s next.”
Tyson Franklin had 19 points and Luke Green 14 to lead the Pirates. Kayle Rice added eight, Andrew Wiser five, Axton Nease three and Landon Williams and Aidan Lemmons each with two.