Boonville boys will host state-ranked Blair Oaks on Friday in key conference matchup

To get to state-ranked Blair Oaks Friday night in a key Tri-County Conference matchup in Boonville, the Boonville Pirates first had to take care of business Tuesday night on the road against the Versailles Tigers.
Having already beaten the Tigers in the third-place game of the conference tournament back in December, Boonville pretty much knew what to expect from Versailles and senior standout Colby Williams.
As it turned out, Williams torched the Pirates for 38 of the team’s 65 points but it wasn’t enough as Boonville had four players in double figures for a 82-65 victory.
Boonville improved to 9-1 overall and 2-0 in the TCC while Versailles fell to 6-5 overall and 0-1 in league play.
Boonville head coach Mark Anderson said this was a nice conference win on the road.
“I know our guys were looking forward to Friday’s matchup with Blair Oaks, and I was a little scared about how we would come out and play tonight,” Anderson said. “We jumped out to a 23-13 lead late in the first quarter, but they scored the last six points of the period and then also scored the first five of the second to tie the game at 23. But we bounced back from their runs, and we opened up a seven-point lead at halftime.”
Although Boonville won both quarters in the first half by outscoring Versailles 23-18 and 19-17 to go up 42-35, the Tigers were within striking distance down by only single digits.
However in the third quarter, the Pirates matched their first-quarter scoring with 23 points while holding Versailles to just 12 to extend the lead to 65-47. Meanwhile, in the final period, Versailles could only make a small dent in Boonville’s lead with a 18-17 scoring edge.
Anderson said the Pirates played well in the third quarter and opened the game up to lead by 18 at the end of the period.
“We played Versailles on their floor a month ago in the conference tournament, and their hectic pressure and somewhat chaotic defense gave us fits; we turned the ball over about 30 times in our previous matchup. I thought-with a few exceptions tonight-that we did a much better job of handling their pressure and not allowing them to force the pace of play like they did a month ago. We wanted to get the ball inside tonight, and I thought it was a good sign that Charlie went for 22 and D.J. went for 17. We got great minutes from a lot of different guys tonight, and we saw some really good things.”
In addition to scoring 21 points, Bronakowski also pulled down 16 rebounds for a double-double while dishing out three assists. He also had two steals in the game.
D.J. Wesolak finished the game with 17 points, five assists and one rebound while Tramell Coleman added 11 points, seven steals, five assists and three rebounds, Jackson Johns 10 points, two rebounds and one assist, Luke Green seven points, six rebounds, three steals and three assists, Lane West five points, eight rebounds and two assists, Tyson Franklin five points, two rebounds and one steal, Kayle Rice four points and two rebounds and DaWan Lomax with two points and one rebound.
For Versailles, Williams had 38 points and Seth Newton with 10.
Anderson said Williams was recognized before the game for having scoring his 2,000th career point at Versailles, which happened last week in the Stover Tournament.
“We seemed to kick-start him toward his 3,000th point tonight as he went for 38,” Anderson said. “He an incredible player and such a tough guy to guard. He’s able to shoot the three, and he’s so good and so smooth at getting the basket and finishing. It’s kind of nice to know that we don’t have to face him again.”
As for the game against Blair Oaks, Anderson said the win over Versailles sets up a huge matchup Friday night at home against 9-2 Blair Oaks-who is ranked No. 2 in Class 3.
“It’s a game that our players have been looking forward to for a couple of weeks, and we’re excited to get a chance to play the Falcons on Friday. They bring in two 6’-9’ brothers (Eric and Luke Northweather), who are an absolute load, but hopefully we have the size to match up with them.”
In the JV game against Versailles, the Tigers scored in double digits in all four quarters to beat Boonville 91-65.
The Pirates, dropping to 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the TCC, led Versailles 21-15 after the first quarter but was outscored 29-6 in the second period to trail 45-28 at the half. Meanwhile, after matching Versailles with 21 points in the third period, Boonville couldn’t keep up as the Tigers held a 26-17 advantage in the final period.
Boonville JV coach Brock Hill said the boys just flat out did not play well.  
“The fact that we gave up 91 points tells you that we didn’t play good defense most of the night,” Hill said. “I felt like everything that could go wrong did.  They came out and pressed us and we continuously turned the ball over.  Just gave them possession after possession off turnovers.  Just careless passes and bad decisions all night long.  Then on the defensive end, we let them get right to the rim all night long for easy buckets.  We did not box out and rebound well, either.  When they did miss a shot they got second and third chances to score off offensive rebounds.  They basically got to shoot until they made it.  I was really disappointed by the way we played for most of the game tonight.  The first quarter was the only quarter that I thought we actually did some things right.  We were up 21-15.  But after that it was all bad.  Getting outscored 29-6 in the second really put us in a hole that we just never dug our way out of.  I think the best thing for us to do with this game is just put it behind us, learn from our mistakes and get better.”
Axton Nease had 18 points to pace all scorers in the game for Boonville. Lomax chipped in 15, Colby Caton 12, Aidan Lemmons 10, Andrew Wiser six and Jordan Fishburn and Caidyn Hazel each with two.
For Versailles, Bell had 20 and Williams with 11.
In the freshmen game, Boonville defeated Versailles 56-44.
The Pirates, 2-4 overall and 1-1 in conference play, led Versailles 29-22 at the half and then outscored the Tigers 27-22 in the second half.
Boonville coach Blake Hackman said the boys got just enough stops in the fourth and made free throws to pull out a double digit win. “I felt like we had a lot of good practices over Christmas break so I was excited to get back on the floor,” Hackman said. “Edrissa Bah played a really nice, physical game by getting a key steal in the final minutes to seal the win.”
Edrissa Bah had the high game for Boonville with 21 points. Colby Caton chipped in 17, Caidyn Hazel eight, Blake Richardson and Tucker Lorenz each with three and Jordan Fishburn and Max Eckerle with two points apiece.
Aden Buckingham had 27 for Versailles.