Pirates will play top-seeded Warrensburg on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Boonville High School

It’s not how you start but how you finish.
That’s the motto the Boonville Pirates basketball team is sticking to after rallying past Fulton 54-49 in the opening round of the Class 4 District 9 Tournament Saturday at Boonville High School.
The Pirates, who improved to 14-11 on the season, will now face top-seeded Warrensburg in the semifinal round on Tuesday starting at 6 p.m.
“We didnt start like we wanted too as we were down by as much as 12 at one point,” said Boonville Pirates basketball coach Jesse Oswald. “We missed a lot of easy bunnies early and it seemed that it messed with our confidence a little bit. We were executing like we needed but we couldnt finish. In the second half we got some easy looks and finished and our confidence got a big jump and it allowed us to hit some outside shots. We will have to start a lot stronger Tuesday against Warrensburg.”
In the only game on Saturday, No. 3 Marshall defeated Osage 69-46. The Owls will play No. 2 Helias in the second semifinals starting at 7:30 p.m.
On the girls side of the bracket Saturday, No. 3 Osage won 58-22 over No. 6 Fulton while No. 4 Marshall edged No. 5 Warrensburg 66-64. Marshall will play top-seeded Boonville on Monday in the first game at 6 p.m., followed by No. 2 Helias versus No. 3 Osage at 7:30.
Needless to say it didn’t look good for the Pirates early on while hitting just 3 of 14 shots from the field in the first quarter. But even then, Boonville trailed Fulton by just four (11-7) at the end of one.
However in the second quarter, the Hornets opened the period with back to back threes from junior John Adams and senior AJ Reid to extend the lead to 10 at 17-7 with 6:59 left.
Fulton also outscored Boonville 15-11 in the second quarter to lead by eight at 26-18.
But as bad as the Pirates played at times while shooting just 30 percent from the field in the first half, they still had a chance with the lead down to single digits at the half.
That all changed in the third quarter as Boonville outscored Fulton 15-11 to cut the lead to four at 36-32. Although the Hornets still held a nine point lead (36-27) at the 3:32 mark in the period, the Pirates came back and scored the final five points to make it a four point ballgame.
Junior Avian Thomas also hit two big threes in the third quarter to jumpstart the Pirates.
From there, Boonville picked up where they left off in the third period with seven straight points to start the fourth on back to back twos from DJ Wesloak and Charlie Bronakowski and another three by Bronakowski to put the Pirates up 39-36 with 6:22 left.
Fulton cut the lead back to one at 39-38 on a putback by senior Anthony Paine, but it was pretty much all Boonville after that a two from Bronakowski and a three pointer by Malik Brazil off the bench to extend the lead back to six at 44-38.
The Hornets had it down to four on two different occasions after that at 44-40 and 46-42. However four straight points by Tramell Coleman with a three and a free throw pushed the lead back up to eight at 50-42 with 1:12 left.
Fulton never got any closer than five points for the rest of the game but did outscore Boonville 7-4 in the last minute to close the gap.
Avian Thomas and DJ Wesolak each had 10 points in the game for Boonville. Clayton Gochenour and Charlie Bronakowski finished the game with nine points each while Tramell Coleman added eight, Malik Brazil five, Sam Esser two and Josh Chrisman with one.
For Fulton, Anthony Paine had 12 points while John Adams chipped in 11.