If Boonville Pirates basketball coach Mark Anderson had a look of concern on his face Saturday while playing Carnahan in the third place game in the Southern Boone Classic in Ashland, it was rightly justified.
Not only was Anderson concerned about Boonville playing its third game in four days, there was also reason for optimism against a talented Carnahan team.
As it turned out, Boonville won in a closer game than the final score 59-49 to improve to 15-4 on the season.
“They're an athletic team,” Anderson said. “Although we would like to play in the championship game but it's good to play against Battle and good to play against Carnahan and see some teams that force you to do some different things and change up how you do things. I thought we did a nice job of responding late in the third and early fourth when we gave up the lead at one point and we bounced back and kind of stuck together.”
By sticking together, the Pirates outscored Carnahan when it counted the most.
Boonville and Carnahan also traded quarters. The Pirates won the first and fourth quarters while the Cougars outscored Boonville 30-24 in the middle two periods.
With no more than seven points separating the two teams in the first half, Boonville led Carnahan after the first-two quarters by the scores of 19-13 and 31-18.
The first half also had its moments where you thought maybe the Pirates would pull away after taking a 23-16 lead on the basket by junior Lane West with 6:35 left in the second period. However over the final minute of the half, Carnahan outscored Boonville 5-1 to cut the lead back to three.
Anderson said he thought the team played well for the first quarter and a half.
“I thought we handled the ball pretty well and handled the press pretty well,” Anderson said. “We gave up a couple of offensive rebounds that I wasn't crazy about and then we had a little stretch at the end of the second quarter and start of the third where we had some bad turnovers and left our feet. But our kids just stayed the course and didn't seem to be too bothered by it.”
Of course Anderson probably thought twice in the third quarter as Carnahan outscored Boonville 15-12 to tie the game at 43-all. But even then the Cougars had trouble pulling away while leading for the first time in the game by one at 35-34 and 37-36. It also took a three by Carnahan’s Raymond Emerson with three seconds left in the period to tie the game.
Anderson said Boonville made some mistakes and played a little too fast at times.
“We got the ball in pretty good spots but it just wouldn't go in,” Anderson said. “I don't know if that's playing our third game in four days or playing against some more athletic teams. I thought we had some decent looks, they just wouldn't go in the basket. It also seemed like every time we made a mistake they would punish us for it. Turnover led to a basket and a bad shot led to a three. We kind of steadied the ship there and got back on track.”
The ship was back on track early in the fourth quarter as Boonville came out and scored six straight points to extend the lead to 49-43.
The defense also picked it up in the fourth quarter while holding Carnahan to six points.
Boonville’s biggest lead of the game-the first of two-came at the 1:15 mark in the fourth when junior D.J. Wesolak completed a three-point play to make it 57-47. A basket by sophomore Tyson Franklin with 46 seconds left also pushed Boonville’s lead to 10 at 59-49.
The Pirates outscored Carnahan 16-6 in the final period.
As for the scoring in the game, Charlie Bronakowski finished the game with a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Bronakowski also had three steals and two assists.
Luke Green chipped in 10 points, three rebounds, two steals and two assists while Lane West added nine points, 10 rebounds, one steal and one assist, Tyson Franklin nine points, three rebounds and one assist, D.J. Wesolak seven points, four rebounds, two steals and one assist, Kayle Rice six points and two rebounds and Jackson Johns with two points and one rebound.
Boonville finished the game, hitting 23 of 56 shots from the field for 41 percent and 12 of 18 from the foul line for 67 percent. However, from the three-point arc, the Pirates were just 1 of 12 for 8 percent.
For Carnahan, Ezekiel Henning and DonJuan Everett each had 10 points.