So close and yet so far.
That’s pretty much sums up the Boonville-Marshall game Monday night in Marshall.
Although the Owls pulled away from Boonville late for a 76-61 victory and more than likely the No. 3 seed in the Class 4 District 9 Tournament, head coach Jesse Oswald said this was a tough game in a tough atmosphere.
Seedings for the district tournament, which will be held in Boonville, are scheduled to take place on Saturday, Feb. 16th weather permitting.
As for the game itself, Boonville and Marshall were deadlock at 12-all after the first eight minutes of the ballgame. And even though the Owls took a 35-31 lead into the half after outscoring the Pirates 23-19, the game was still very much in doubt with two quarters to play. However, in the third period, Marshall stayed hot while the Pirates cooled off somewhat as the Owls took a 56-44 lead going into the final period. Marshall also held a 20-17 advantage in the fourth to win the game by 15.
“I thought we faced some adversity tonight and really liked the way our guys responded and competed,” Oswald said. “The final score doesn't show how close the game was throughout as it was back and forth the first half. The second half they started on a run but we played with them and didn't let our guards down and continued to fight. Again, we faced some adversity on the floor with some things we couldn't control, but the fight was there all the way until the buzzer sounded. Anytime you see guys diving on the floor down by 10 with a minute to go, you know they are still there fighting for you and the team and that says a lot. This loss will make us better and teaches us some things about when the game doesn't go your way, how you can respond and find a way to keep fighting. I thought we did that tonight.”
Jace Lance had 29 and Ben Haug 22 to lead all scorers for Marshall.
For Boonville, who dropped to 12-9 on the season, Clayton Gochenour tallied 30 points for the second game in a row while Avian Thomas added 14, Malik Brazil seven, Tramell Coleman four and DJ Wesolak and Sam Esser each with three.
In the JV game, Boonville defeated Marshall 54-38.
The Pirates, improving to 4-11 overall,  trailed Marshall 12-11 after first period’s end before rallying back with a 14-12 advantage in the second quarter to lead at the half 25-24. Boonville dominated the second half as well by outscoring the Owls 29-14 for the 16 point win.
“I thought we really played hard as a team today,” Hill said. “We came out in the first half and really battled with Marshall.  We were down one after the first quarter and went into halftime up one.  We made some adjustments at halftime and in the second half that really gave them trouble.  Marshall was having a rough night shooting the ball and we took advantage of that in the second half.  They were scoring all their points in the paint so we decided to go to a 2-3 zone and pack it in.  We just wanted to contest their shots without falling for pump fakes and giving up driving lanes.  I was really proud of the way that we executed down the stretch of this game.  We really made our mark in the third quarter both offensively and defensively gaining a 17-5 advantage.  Then it was just about finishing the game strong.  This was our last non-conference game of the year and I was beyond happy to get the win.  With three conference games left this year we will have a tough finish but I think we showed we are ready to end this year strong.”
Luke Green had 14 points and Kayle Rice 12 to lead all scorers in double figures for Boonville. Axton Nease chipped in nine, Tyson Franklin eight, Landon Williams five, Brock Nowlin four and Aidan Lemmons with two.
For Marshall, Kraft had 12 points.