The Boonville Pirates basketball team had another second half rally Friday night in a home and conference opener against the Eldon Mustangs.
After rallying from a double digit defict the night before against the Moberly Spartans, the Pirates also faced a seven point deficit at the half against Eldon.
But just like in the game against Moberly, the Pirates found a way to win with a big second half for a 66-53 victory.
The Pirates, 7-1 on the season, will play next in the MRMC Holiday Shootout in Moberly at MACC on Friday, Dec. 27 against Macon starting at 3:30 p.m.
Boonville Pirates basketball coach Mark Anderson said the game against Eldon was a very similar game to the night before, where they got down fairly big in the first half, trailing by seven at halftime.
“But we had a big third quarter, outscoring Eldon 23-9 to take a 45-38 lead into the fourth quarter,” Anderson said. “While I’d like to stop digging ourselves a hole in the first half, it was encouraging to see us fight back in the second half. I thought our press finally wore them down a little in the third quarter and generated some steals and some scoring opportunities. Charlie Bronakowski had a huge night and really carried us to this win. Tyson Franklin, making his first career varsity start in place of Tramell Coleman, had a big second half for us and was a huge part of our comeback. Tyson scored 15 of his 16 points in the second half and hit some big free throws down the stretch. Thanks to all the students and fans who came out to cheer us on tonight. The crowd was a big part of the energy in the building during our run in the third and fourth quarters.”
The Pirates appeared to be lacking something in the first half while trailing Eldon 29-22 at the half. Although it could have been a layover from the night before while playing the Spartans and not having their legs early in the game against Eldon, Anderson had to know that it was going to take another second half rally to win the game.
Needless to say, Boonville didn’t play poorly in the first quarter while hitting 5 of 12 shots from the field. The Pirates also out-rebounded Eldon 6-5 with just one turnover. It’s the way the Mustangs were scoring, which was pretty much any way they wanted while leading by as much as five (13-8) with 2:20 left.
However it took a 5-0 run in the fnal two minutes for the Pirates to tie the game at 13-all.
The second quarter was all Eldon, who outscored Boonville 16-9 to lead 29-22 at the half. The Mustangs also went on a 8-0 during a one minute span in the second to lead by as much as 11 at 26-15.
Bronakowski kept the Pirates close with six straight points to cut the lead to five at 26-21. However over the final minute of the half, the Mustangs outscored Boonville 3-1 to lead by seven.
The scond half was a different story as the Pirates came out as the aggressor and reeled off 13 straight points to open the half to lead Eldon 37-29.
Boonville also outscored the Mustangs 23-9 in the third quarter to go up by seven at 45-38.
Sophomore Luke Green also had the hot hand for the Pirates in the third quarter with eight of his nine points.
Of course the Pirates weren’t out of the woods yet. Eldon cut the lead to four in the fourth quarter to make it 45-41. However a 8-0 run by Boonville pushed the lead back up to 12 at 53-41. The Pirates would go on to outscore Eldon 21-15 in the final period to win by 11.
Bronakowski finished the game with 29 points and 16 rebounds for a double-double. He also had five steals and two assists.
Franklin chipped in 16 points, five rebounds, one steal and one assist while Green added nine points, one steal and one assist, D.J. Wesolak five points, eight rebounds, two assists and one steal, Jackson Johns three points and one steal, Lane West three points, three steals, one rebound and one assist and Kayle Rice with one point.
For Eldon, Logan Hall had 21 and Aidan Wells 17.
Boonville also won the JV game against Eldon 58-46.
The Pirates, 1-1 on the season, led Eldon 31-15 at the half  but was outscored 25-9 in the third quarter as the Mustangs came back to tie the game at 40-all. However, in the final period, Boonville held a 18-6 advantage.
Boonville JV coach Brock Hill said the boys did a much better job on the defensive end than they did the night before against Moberly.
“It can be tough to play back to back nights, especially when it’s your first two games of the year,” Hill said. “I saw real improvement on both ends of the floor. We came out in the first half and I thought our press really gave them problems. We held them to 15 points in the first two quarters and were up by 16 going into the half. Then the third quarter happened. They came out and pressed us and really turned the tables. We had trouble with the pressure they were putting on us. Partly because it’s the first time this year anyone has pressed us.
“They outscored us 25-9 and the game was tied 40-40 going into the fourth. We were frustrated and it was easy to see that we were uncomfortable. Coach Hackman and I basically told them to stop pointing fingers at each other and calm down. Frustrated teams don’t win basketball games. We made a few adjustments to help with the press we were facing. We still had a game to win. I give a lot of credit to our guys because they did exactly that. They refocused and handled the fourth quarter to the tune of 18-6.  I was really proud of the way we played for the most part. We faced a little adversity and overcame it which I think is good for a team.”
Aidan Lemmons, Axton Nease and Colby Caton each had 12 points in the game for Boonville. DaWan Lomax chipped in 11 while Andrew Wiser added eight and Byron Thomas with three.
For Eldon, Gavin West and Devin Wardenburg each had 14 points.
In the freshmen game, Eldon defeated Boonville 46-40.
The Pirates, 1-4 on the season, trailed Eldon 14-12 after first period’s end before rallying back with a 12-9 advantage in the second quarter to go up 24-23 at the half. However it was pretty much all Eldon in the second half with a 23-16 advantage for the win.
Boonville freshman coach Blake Hackman said the boys came out with a lot of effort and energy following a loss the night before to Mexico. “I was pleased with how well our guys fought, but we got out-rebounded and late turnovers cost us the game.”
Caidyn Hazel had the high game for Boonville with 14 points. Cameron Poulsen chipped in eight while Colby Caton added six, Edrissa Bah four, Jordan Fishburn and Tucker Lorenz each with three and Max Eckerle with two.