Green, Bronakowski power Boonville past SBC in TCC Tournament

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News

Two things had to happen in order for the Boonville Pirates basketball team to beat Southern Boone Thursday night in the semifinal round of the Tri-County Conference Tournament in Wardsville.

In a No. 2 versus No. 3 matchup, the game went about as expected-which was down to the wire.

But for the Pirates to come away with a win against the Eagles, senior Charlie Bronakowski had to have another big night.

As it turned out, Bronakowski did just that with 29 points to follow up his 30 point performance Tuesday against California.

However, the biggest play of the night just happened to be the final shot of the game with Boonville trailing Southern Boone 61-59. With 7.7 seconds left on the clock, the Pirates pulled off what many felt was impossible when junior Luke Green avoided two SBC players and hit a shot at the buzzer from the left wing for a 62-61 victory. 

Boonville, 2-0 on the season, will now advance to the championship game tonight against top-seeded Blair Oaks starting at 8:30 p.m. The Falcons defeated Hallsville 72-47.

In other games last night in the consolation semifinals, Eldon toppled Osage 64-45 while Versailles beat California by 9 101-92.

Osage and California will also play tonight in the seventh place game at 5:30 p.m. Meanwhile, on Saturday, Eldon will take on Versailles in the consolation finals at 11:30 a.m. while Hallsville battles Southern Boone in the third place game at 2:30 p.m.

Boonville Pirates basketball coach Mark Anderson said this was thrilling for the players in a game where Boonville trailed for most of the fourth quarter. “I’m so happy for Luke because of all the time that he’s put into working on his game,” Anderson said. “He’s a kid who will want into the gym in the evenings and on weekends and who will stay for an hour after practice to get extra shots, and it’s nice to see his hard work pay off and to see him have a moment like that. I don’t know if most people realize all the work and time and sweat behind the scenes that goes into a moment like that. I’d be willing to bet that Luke has practiced that kind of shot over and over and over.”

Although Green’s shot ended up winning the game for Boonville, the first-three quarters were just as tight with the Pirates and Southern Boone tied 15-15 after one and 33-33 at the half. However, in the third period, the Eagles outscored Boonville 11-10 to lead by one at 44-43. Meanwhile, in the final period, the Pirates held a two-point advantage (19-17) against SBC-which included the three by Green at the buzzer.

Anderson said it was a terrific game from start to finish. 

“As you can see from the fact that the game was tied after the first quarter and at halftime, and then Southern Boone had just a one point lead at the end of the third quarter,” Anderson said. “I’m really proud of our team’s effort and grit and perseverance tonight. We were without six varsity players tonight due to quarantine, and we faced some foul trouble tonight and a really good Southern Boone team, who hit some big shots. It seemed like they had an answer every time that we made a shot. But we just kind of found a way to stay in the game and to find a way to win it at the end.”

Anderson said lost in the shuffle from Green’s three-pointer was an absolutely huge three that Kayle Rice hit in the corner with 23 seconds to play to cut Southern Boone’s lead to one. Southern Boone then made one of two free throws to take a two-point lead, he said. Anderson added that Bronakowski followed up a 30 point performance in the first round with a 29 point game tonight, and he was just huge for the Pirates throughout the game.

“Charlie made some big baskets for us when we really needed them throughout the course of the game,” Anderson said. “He just continues to show what a great player he is.”

In the game tonight against Blair Oaks for the championship, Anderson said the Falcons will be without about 4-5 football players, and Boonville will be without 4-6 players due to quarantine. “I know both teams will be ready to play on a quick turnaround,” Anderson said. “We’re certainly looking forward to the chance to play Blair Oaks and to play for a tournament title.”

In addition to scoring 29 points and hitting the 1,000 point mark in his career, Bronakowski also had nine rebounds, two steals and one assist.

Green finished the game with 12 points and two rebounds while Kayle Rice chipped in nine points, seven rebounds and two assists, Lane West seven points, seven rebounds and one steal, Jackson Johns five points and six rebounds and Colby Caton with two rebounds and two assists. 

As a team, Boonville shot 41.4 percent from the field, 31.8 percent from the three-point arc and 43.8 percent from the foul line. 

Nik Post had 18 points and Blake Dapkus 16 for Southern Boone.