Boonville Pirates basketball coach Mark Anderson made a point when referring to the upcoming district tournament at Capital City High School in Jeff City.
After beating Osage 82-56 to closeout the regular season at 19-5 overall and 6-1 in the Tri-County Conference, Anderson said why not the Pirates winning the district.
“We just talked about that in the locker room,” Anderson said. We've got a lot of pieces. We have size. At the right times we can shoot it well enough. We may not have done that consistently enough throughout the year but we have been shooting it better as the stretch run has come along here.
“We have to plant that seed that it could be a really special season but we also have to plant that seed that we better be ready to buckle down next Tuesday and hopefully next Thursday and not think too far ahead.”
As the No. 2 seed behind Helias, the Pirates will face either Osage or Marshall in the semifinal round on Tuesday, March 3. The winner of that came will more than likely face the Crusaders in the championship on Thursday, March 5.
The Pirates were focused on the task at hand Monday night against Osage. While scoring the game’s first 12 points, Boonville also had four different scorers during that stretch run.
The Pirates led 20-10 after one period and outscored Osage 25-21 in the second quarter to lead 45-31 at the break.
Luckily for Boonville, they had a big enough lead as Osage lived at the foul line in the second quarter by hitting 9 of 10 shots.
The Pirates held a 19 point lead at the 4:24 mark in the second after a basket by Tyson Franklin to make it 35-16. However, over the next-three minutes, the Indians whittled that down to 11 with six straight free throws.
Then, with 2.4 second left, sophomore Luke Green hit a three from the top of the key to extend the lead back to 14 at the half.
Anderson said he thought they let Osage hang around with free throws.
“I thought we got kind of sloppy defensively and let them get to the line, and then they kind of chip away here, chip away there and then it was 20-12,” Anderson said. “Then, we kind of strong-armed them and held them off.”
The third quarter was back and forth as Boonville led by as much as 17 only to have Osage cut it back to 10 (58-48) with 38 seconds left.
The Indians also won the period against Boonville 17-16.
Anderson said the team tried to make some adjustments.
“They were kind of throwing over the top of our press as the first half went along,” Anderson said. “We tried to adjust a little bit to that to not come so far up the floor. We'll have time now if we see them again in a little over a week. We'll have a chance to watch this film and kind of make some adjustments ourselves based on the film. We kind of came back out and talked about winning the first-four minutes of the second half and we did, but we just couldn't let that get down to 8 or 6 and all of sudden be a ballgame. I thought we played well enough in spurts for the most part tonight.”
The Pirates still maintained a 13 point lead (61-48) going into the fourth and quickly pushed that to 20 after reeling off seven straight on a basket by Charlie Bronakowski and five straight by Green to extend the lead to 68-48.
Boonville also scored seven straight during a two minute stretch late in the period to push the lead to 25 at 75-50.
In the period, the Pirates outscored the Indians 21-8 and led by as much as 28 after a three by senior Nick Ferrari and a two from Green to make it 82-54.
Anderson said it was good to get a lot of minutes for the seniors and a chance for them to play a lot.
“All in all, it’s a 25 point win and it’s a 19-5 regular season,” Anderson said. “I think we are all pretty pleased with those two things. But we’ll probably have to play better than that if we want to go too far down the road. Now we have to move on to districts.”
Green finished the game with 24 points to lead all scorers for Boonville. He also had two steals, two assists and one rebound.
D.J. Wesolak added 17 points, seven rebounds and one steal while Charlie Bronakowski chipped in 14 points, nine rebounds, three assists and one steal, Tyson Franklin 12 points, five steals, one rebound and one assist, Lane West six points, 11 rebounds, two steals and two assists, Nick Ferrari three points and one assist, Sam Esser three points and one rebound, Kayle Rice two points, three rebounds and two assists and Jackson Johns with one point, one rebound and one steal.
Boonville also good night shooting the ball while hitting 32 of 62 shots from the field for 52 percent and 12 of 17 from the foul line for 71 percent.
For Osage, Dylan Long and Logan Havner each had 13 points while Brockton McLaughlin added 10.
In the JV game, Osage defeated Boonville 50-35.
The Pirates, dropping to 3-13 overall and 3-4 in the TCC, trailed Osage 27-20 at the half and then were outscored 23-15 in the second half.
Boonville JV coach Brock Hill said this is not the way they wanted to end their season.  
“With that said I did see improvement both individually and as a team throughout this season,” Hill said. “I am proud of these boys and I enjoyed the opportunity to coach them.  As for tonight’s game, we were our own worst enemy.  We turned the ball over way too many times.  Defensively, we had trouble staying in front of their penetrators.  Our first nine points came way to easy for us and we got to comfortable.  Then we started taking questionable shots.  Osage slowly increased there lead every quarter until it was 15 at the final buzzer.  No matter the final score I am proud of these players.”
DaWan Lomax had 13 points to lead all scorers for Boonville. Axton Nease chipped in eight, Byron Thomas four, Andrew Wiser and Colby Caton three each and Cameron Poulsen and Edrissa Bah with two each.
For Osage, Alton Drace had 17 points.