The Boonville Pirates basketball team had two positives come out of Friday’s game against Macon in the MACC Holiday Shootout.
First, the Pirates won 66-60 in a game that was downright ugly for 32 minutes. As for the second positive, Boonville picked up its seventh straight victory to improve to 8-1 on the season.
“I didn’t think we played particularly well tonight, but we found a way to come from behind yet again and get a win,” said Boonville coach Mark Anderson. “We have now won seven games in a row and improve our record to 8-1 on the year.  This is the third game in a row that we’ve trailed at halftime, which is certainly a disturbing trend.  We played tonight without two starters-Tramell Coleman and Lane West- so it was nice to find a win without both of those guys.  We struggled again from the free throw line, shooting 12/25 from the line, but we hit enough free throws in the fourth quarter to get the win.  As disappointed as I am in our overall performance tonight, it’s nice to find a way to win; as they say, an ugly win is still better than a pretty loss.”
This was definitely an ugly win for the Pirates, especially early as Macon led 19-16 after first period’s end. But as bad as Boonville played early on while starting the game 0 for 4 and turning it over six times, Anderson probably felt lucky to be down by only three after one.
The Pirates also fought through a sluggish second quarter. Despite matching Macon with 12 points in the second period, Boonville still found itself trailing by three (31-28) at the break.
Sophomore Tyson Franklin had seven of the team’s 12 points in the second quarter.
After following a pattern from the last two games by starting slow and finishing strong, Boonville continued that same trend in the third quarter by outscoring Macon 20-13.
Of course it didn’t hurt that junior Charlie Bronakowski came out redhot in the third period with 16 of the team’s 20 points to extend the lead over the Tigers to 48-44.
“Charlie Bronakowski was awesome again tonight -- he scored 26 points (20 of those in the second half),” Anderson said. “Charlie has been huge in the last three games and has pretty much carried us on his back to victory in three games where we haven’t played very well.  Jackson Johns hit a huge three-pointer tonight in the fourth quarter to open our lead up to seven points, and Jackson scored 10 points in his first career start.  Tyson Franklin also chipped in with 11 points (9 of them in the first half).”
The fourth quarter was just as close as the first-three. Boonville outscored Macon 18-16 and held its biggest lead of the game at 59-50 after a layup by Franklin with 3:30 left. But even that was short-lived as the Tigers rallied back to cut the lead to three at 63-60 with 56 seconds left. Macon never got any closer as Boonville hit on 3 of 6 shots from the foul line in the final minute for the victory.
“Give some credit to Macon, who I thought out-played us for a good chunk of the game tonight,” Anderson said.  “I didn’t think we guarded very well.  We had some bad defensive breakdowns and gave up too many direct-drive layups and too many open shots.  We did buckle down defensively a little bit in the second half, but it’s still an area where we need to improve.”
To go along with his game-high 26 points, Bronakowski also had 11 rebounds, four steals and one assist.
Franklin finished the game with five steals, two rebounds and one assist while Johns added two rebounds, two blocked shots, one steal and one assist, D.J. Wesolak with eight points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal, Luke Green six points, four rebounds and two assists, Kayle Rice four points, one rebound and one assist, Brock Nowlin one point and Nick Ferrari with one rebound.
For Macon, who dropped to 2-7 on the season, Boston Douglas had 14 points and Hayden Lovinger with 11.