Pirates fall short against Blair Oaks in TCC Tournament

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
Boonville senior Charlie Bronakowski (32) drives the middle of the lane in the third quarter Friday night against Blair Oaks in the championship game in the Tri-County Conference Tournament in Wardsville.

After a dramatic come from behind win Thursday night against Southern Boone, the Boonville Pirates basketball team was hoping for a little bit of the same Friday night against top-seeded Blair Oaks in the championship in the Tri-County Conference Tournament in Wardsville.

Although the Falcons took a much easier path to the championship game, the Pirates were there for a reason as the No. 2 seed.

Unfortunately for Boonville, the Falcons had just a little more than the Pirates in the final eight minutes of the game for a 82-70 victory.

The loss dropped Boonville to 2-1 on the season.

Despite the 12 point loss, Boonville head coach Mark Anderson said in a game like this what it shows is that his team is close but they still have some work to do.

“We talked about that,” Anderson said. “There’s just a few possessions here and there that we can clean up. We also had a couple of turnovers that were just kind of either fatigue turnovers or just kind of lackadaisical turnovers. The fact that we were without four to six players this week and still played as well as we did I think we can take something out of that, too.”

Of course Boonville wasn’t the only team without several key players. Anderson said Blair Oaks also had several players missing that are still playing football. The Falcons wound up beating Maryville 62-40 for the Class 3 state championship Saturday in Jefferson City. 

Although it’s certain that both of these teams will look different in the next meeting on January 8 in Wardsville, the fans got a sampling of what they may see in a month. 

Nonetheless, the Falcons proved beyond reason why they were the No. 1 seed in the tournament by outscoring Boonville in three of the four quarters.

Blair Oaks also has two players worth mentioning in 6-9 junior Luke Northweather and junior Quinn Kusgen. Northweather and Kusgen combined for 61 of the team’s 80 points on Friday. Kusgen finished the game with 37 points while Northweather chipped in 24. Sophomore Zach Henry also had a big game for the Falcons with 19 points. 

As for the scoring in the game for Boonville, junior Luke Green led three players in double figures with 20 points. Charlie Bronakowski added 19 while Lane West chipped in 13.

Fresh off the buzzer beater on Thursday against SBC, Green was cold shooting to start the game for the Pirates with only six of his team-high 20 points coming in the first half.

Needless to say, Boonville kept pace with Blair Oaks early on while trailing by just two (18-16) after the first eight minutes-which featured a total of seven threes.

The Falcons also jumped out to a 7-0 lead to start the game while Boonville missed its first-four shots and didn’t score until the 5:49 mark on a basket by Jackson Johns.

The Pirates also finished the first quarter 6 of 16 from the field for 38 percent.

Despite the slow start, Boonville found its way back in the second quarter and cut the lead to four at 24-20 after a basket by Bronakowski with 6:24 left. But like all good teams, the Falcons found a way by reeling off six straight after that to extend the lead to 10 at 30-20.

Boonville never got any closer than six for the half while Blair Oaks led by as much as 11 (39-28) with 1:29 left.

The Falcons also outscored Boonville 21-16 in the second quarter to lead 39-32 at the halfway point in the game. 

Although Blair Oaks led at the break by seven, Boonville had a chance to cut into that lead in the third quarter. However another slow start by the Pirates prohibited that from happening. Fortunately for Boonville, the Falcons also came out a little sluggish offensively. 

Boonville scored its first basket almost two minutes into the second half while the Falcons picked up its first two points 20 seconds earlier. 

The good news is that Boonville played Blair Oaks even in the third quarter with 16 points. Both teams also combined for seven threes in the third.

That continued in the final period with eight threes. However the first-two came from Boonville as Bronakowski and sophomore Colby Caton hit back-to-back threes to tie the game at 54-all.

The Pirates never got any closer in the ballgame as Blair Oaks came back and reeled off eight straight to extend the lead back to eight at 62-54 with 5:43 left. 

The Falcons also outscored Boonville 27-22 in the fourth quarter. 

Green also had three rebounds, two assists and one steal in the game for Boonville. Bronakowski finished the game with three rebounds and two assists while West had 11 rebounds, three assists and one steal. 

Other players contributing for the Pirates were Jackson Johns with eight points, four rebounds, three assists and one steal, Kayle Rice with seven points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals and Colby Caton with three points.

Boonville also finished the game shooting 44.3 percent from the field, 46.2 percent from the three point arc and 50 percent from the foul line.

Blair Oaks shot 57.7 percent from the field, 46.2 percent from three and 71.4 percent from the free-throw line. 

In other games in the tournament, Hallsville boys edged Southern Boone 67-64 in the third place game while Versailles won 99-84 over Eldon in the consolation finals. In the seventh place game, Osage defeated California 62-60.