Up until the final eight minutes of the ballgame Monday night against Osage in the regular season, Boonville Pirates basketball coach Jesse Oswald didn’t know whether to exhale or hold his breath.
As it turned out, Oswald was able to breath a sigh of relief as the Pirates scored a season-high 38 points in the fourth quarter to beat Osage 80-53.
While improving to 13-11 overall and 4-3 going into the Class 4 District 9 Tournament Saturday at the Windsor gymnasium in Boonville, Oswald said the Pirates played just good enough to win the first-three quarters and then hit their groove in the fourth.
“I’m not sure we have or ever will put together as efficient of a quarter as we had in fourth ever again. The first three quarters was back and forth and we could never really separate from them like I felt we should. They dominated the paint the first half and we allowed their shooters to get loose in the second half. For us, we forced some shots early and didnt run an offense like we needed. When we did play team offense we found ways to score and did a great job moving the basketball.”
Prior to the fourth quarter, the Pirates had their hands full while trailing Osage 19-17 after first period’s end. However in the second quarter, Boonville began to find its rhythm somewhat by outscoring the Indians by four (13-9) to lead at the break 30-28. Boonville also held a 12-11 advantage in the final period to extend the lead by three at 42-39. With just eight minutes separating Boonville from victory, the Pirates caught fire at the right time by outscoring Osage 38-14 to win the game by 27.
Senior Clayton Gochenour has also been on fire as of lately. With two 30 point game in the last two weeks, Gochenour burned the nets again for a game-high 25 points.
Tramell Coleman and Charlie Bronakowski each had 12 points while DJ Wesolak added nine, Avian Thomas and Malik Brazil each with six, Luke Green five, Brock Nowlin three and Kellen Brownfield with two.
For Osage, Depee had 10 points while Russenfaus added eight points.
The Pirates will begin play in the Class 4 District 9 Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 23rd at the Windsor gymnasium in Boonville against Fulton starting at 4:30 p.m.
Warrensburg drew the No. 1 seed in the tournament, followed by Helias, Marshall, Boonville, Fulton and Osage.
Marshall and Osage will also play on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
The winners on Saturday will advance to the semifinal round on Tuesday, Feb. 26th. The Boonville-Fulton winner will play Warrensburg at 6 p.m., followed by the Marshall-Osage winner versus Helias at 7:30.
The championship game will be held on Thursday, Feb. 28th starting at 7:45 p.m.