Boonville Pirates basketball coach Mark Anderson is a believer in Southern Boone senior Rece Gilmore.
Although basketball is a secondary sport for Gilmore, who also excels in soccer, the senior standout almost single-handedly led the Eagles past the Pirates with a game-high 31 points.
Unfortunately for Southern Boone, they also had no answer for Boonville junior Charlie Bronakowski-who scored a team-high 21 points in a 64-56 win over the Eagles.
The win improved Boonville’s record to 18-5 overall and 5-1 in the Tri-County Conference. Southern Boone, meanwhile, fell to 17-8 overall and 5-2 in the conference.
Boonville Pirates basketball coach Mark Anderson said it was just one of those games where the Pirates just hung in there.
“We hung around, hung around and had a little run there at the end of the third quarter, and then we made enough plays in the fourth quarter,” Anderson said. “We did a couple of dumb things but we also did some pretty good things down the stretch. We have to stop letting other team’s best player have career nights. However, I thought we did a much better job of finding him and locating him as the game went on. He’s just that good.”
Of course the same could be said of Bronakowski, who is also considered one of the top players in the TCC.
With second place in the conference riding on this game, Anderson said both teams didn’t give the fans a whole lot to cheer about in the first quarter while combining for just 13 points.
Gilmore didn’t disappoint with 12 of the team’s 25 points in the first half. Bronakowski, meanwhile, finished the half with nine points but hit a big three at the buzzer to cut Southern Boone’s lead to two at 25-23.
The Eagles also reeled off eight straight in the second quarter to go from trailing 16-12 with 4:53 left to lead by four (20-16) with 2:56 remaining.
Southern Boone outscored Boonville 18-17 in the second period.
The Eagles also had to like their chances midway in the third quarter up 34-31 with 3:08 left. That is until Boonville went on a 10-0 run to go up by seven at 41-34.
Sophomore Tyson Franklin provided the spark Boonville would need in the third with two threes during the run. Franklin also finished with nine of his 11 points in the third quarter.
That proved to be the difference not to mention that Boonville outscored Southern Boone 20-11 in the third period to lead by seven (43-36).
The Eagles still had a chance, though.
After a three-point play and a two from Gilmore to cut it back to two (43-41), Southern Boone also had it at 51-49 with 2:40 left.
But was as close as the Eagles would come as Boonville followed it up with a three by Bronakowski and a basket by sophomore D.J. Wesolak to push the lead back to seven at 56-49.
Boonville also outscored Southern Boone 21-20 in the final period.
In additon to scoring 21 points, Bronakowski also had seven rebounds and two blocked shots in the game.
Wesolak finished the game with 12 points along with eight rebounds, five assists and one steal while Tyson Franklin added 11 points, four steals, two rebounds and one assist.
Kayle Rice added eight points, four rebounds and one steal while Lane West contributed four points, seven rebounds, three steals and one assist, Luke Green four points, four assists and two rebounds and Jackson Johns with four points, two assists and one rebound.
Other than Gilmore, who had 12 in the first half and 19 in the second half, Blake Dapkus was the only player remotely close to double figures for the Eagles with eight points.
In the JV game, Boonville defeated Southern Boone 52-42.
The Pirates, improving to 3-12 overall and 3-3 in the TCC, trailed SBC 15-11 after one and 27-20 at the half before rallying back with a 32-15 advantage in the second half.
Boonville JV coach Brock Hill said this was hands down one of the best games the team has played all year.
“I thought we took a step back in our last game against Fulton,” Hill said.  “Tonight we took a huge leap forward.  Our Defense was a lot better than it has been.  We didn’t give up a lot of easy buckets.  I was particularly impressed with the way we came out after halftime.  We were down seven at half and decided to change our offense.  We wanted to put pressure on the rim and get more driving opportunities.  They executed the offensive game plan excellently in the third quarter blowing up for 19 points.  Not only did the offense really start to flow, but our defense was great in the third.  We held them to four points.  That changed the game.  A 19-4 third quarter put us up eight and we didn’t look back. This was a quality conference win for us.”
Axton Nease had 17 to lead all scorers for Boonville. Colby Caton chipped in 15, DaWan Lomax 11, Andrew Wiser five, Edrissa Bah three and Byron Thomas with one.
Southern Boone was led by Christopher Anderson with 18 points.