Boonville Pirates basketball coach Mark Anderson has seen it all in his 13th year as head coach and 20th overall.
While sporting a record of 201-109 during that time, Anderson has had many ups and downs throughout his career with stops at Knob Noster, Moberly and Jefferson City.
However, after taking the Boonville job at the completion of the 2018-19 season at Jefferson City, Anderson knew that the Pirates returned most of its personnel from last year’s 14-12 campaign, including its leading scorer and rebounder in junior Charlie Bronakowski. Add that to a team that has great depth and a combination of size and good guard play and it’s easy to see why Anderson is optimistic heading into the 2019-20 season.
Of course Boonville has some catching up to do in its second season in the Tri-County Conference after finishing 4-3, which was good enough for fourth place.
Anderson’s first prority, however, will be to get the team ready for its season opener in the Tri-County Conference on Tuesday, Dec. 3. The Pirates, the No. 3 seed, will play sixth-seeded California in the opening round on Tuesday starting at 8:30 p.m.
After that, Anderson’s Pirates will take it one game at a time with two tournaments in the first-two weeks of the season. Boonville will play in the Centralia Tournament on Dec. 9-14.
With a motion offense with inside-outside balance and mostly man to man on defense with a variety of presses, it’s safe to say that Boonville wants to get up and down the floor this season.
The Pirates finished the 2018-19 season averaging 61.5 ppg along with 33.3 rpg. Boonville also shot 42 percent from the field, 58 percent from the foul line and 28 percent from the three-point arc. Those last two numbers will have to improve if the Pirates are going to have a chance this season. The steals per game last season all fell short of double digits at 8.5 while Boonville dished out 11 assists per game.
Needless to say, the offense will run through junior Charlie Bronakowski this season. While earning all-conference and all-district last year along with teammate Clayton Gochenour-who is now at Central Methodist University in Fayette-Bronakowski will have to be a force again this season after averaging 14.5 ppg along with 10.5 rpg.
Anderson said Bronakowski is a very skilled and athletic inside-outside player.
Of course Bronakowski is just one player. Also returning this season for Boonville is senior Tramell Coleman, who is another athletic guard. Coleman averaged 7.6 ppg and 5.3 rpg for the Pirates last year.
Other players that Coach Anderson will count on this season are senior Sam Esser, juniors Kayle Rice and Lane West, sophomores D.J Wesolak, Luke Green and Tyson Franklin and freshman Jackson Johns.
Esser, a very athletic wing player, came off the bench last year and averaged 1.2 ppg. Rice, meanwhile, is a post player that Anderson will look to as a post player who can also step out and shoot a mid-range jumper. West is also an athletic big man, who can play inside and outside. West was sidlined last season with an injury.
Wesolak will also give the Pirates length down low. While seeing time last year on varsity, Wesolak came off the bench to average 7.3 ppg along with 4.9 rpg. Anderson said Wesolak is a skilled and athletic big man who can play both inside and outside.
Green also brings both an inside and outside presence for the Pirates. While seeing most of his time on the JV team last year as a freshman, Green still managed 1.7 ppg in limited minutes. However, Anderson said Green is a very good shooter from the outside.
As for Franklin and Johns, who will more than likely split time on the JV and varsity, Anderson said Tyson is an athletic finisher and active defender while Johns is a very smart player and good shooter for a freshman.