The Boonville Pirates basketball team knew it was going to be a game of firsts Tuesday night in the opening round of the Tri-County Conference Tournament at Versailles.
Not only was it the first game of the season, it was also the first for head coach Mark Anderson as the Boonville boys basketball coach.
As it turned out, the Pirates had no problem in either cases while leading California from start to finish for a convincing 81-56 victory.
Boonville, 1-0 on the season, will now play No. 2 Southern Boone in the semifinal round on Thursday starting at 8:30 p.m. The Eagles won 67-44 over Osage in a No. 2 versus No. 7 matchup on Tuesday.
In other games, No. 1 Blair Oaks cruised past Eldon 83-46 while No. 5 Versailles knocked off No. 4 Hallsville 83-71.
Coach Anderson said the Pirates jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter, triggered by their press.  
“We led 22-10 at the end of the first quarter and then 40-25 at halftime,” Anderson said. “We extended our lead to 30 early in the fourth quarter.  Twelve different players scored last night for us.  Charlie got a dunk early in the first quarter off of our press.  We hoped that our depth would be a strength this year, and along those lines we played 11 different guys in the first quarter.  Charlie had nine of his 18 points in the first quarter.  We had some typical first-game jitters and turnovers throughout the game, and we could have rebounded a little better.  But overall, I was really pleased with how we played last night, especially with how hard we played.”
Of course it didn’t hurt that Boonville led California 22-10 after one or 40-25 at the half. The Pirates also outscored the Pintos 24-15 in the third to extend the lead to 64-40. Meanwhile, in the fourth quarter, Boonville held a 17-16 advantage to win the game by 25.
Junior Charlie Bronakowski led the scoring for Boonville with 18 points. Tramell Coleman chipped in 15 while Kayle Rice added nine, DJ Wesolak, Tyson Franklin, Lane West and Jackson Johns each with seven, DaWan Lomax with three and Sam Esser, Luke Green, Brock Nowlin and Axton Nease each with two points.
For California, Trevor Myers had 14 and Braeden Birdsong with 10.