Pirates hold on to beat North Callaway, 65-64

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News

The Boonville Pirates basketball team almost found out the hard way Tuesday night in the opening round of the Centralia Invitational Tournament.

In a No. 1 versus No. 8 matchup at Hallsville High School, the Pirates were able to hold off a pesky North Callaway team for a 65-64 victory.

While the win improved Boonville’s record to 3-1 on the season, head coach Mark Anderson said it was nice getting some players back from quarantine, but the Pirates also lost three players to quarantine at the same time.

“I think we also knew that this would be a season with lots of potential disruptions and breaks in continuity, but this has definitely been a frustrating first couple of weeks,” Anderson said. “Nonetheless, our players have done a good job of dealing with adversity and with this roller-coaster so far. Tonight, we didn’t play well at all, but found a way to win.

“We survived a scare tonight from North Callaway. Having said that, we knew going into this game that North Callaway was a dangerous team and was far from a typical 8 seed. North Callaway had just won by about 40 points on Friday, and earlier last week they had lost in overtime to Centralia. The tournament this year is incredibly balanced and deep, and in many years North Callaway would probably be a 4 or 5 seed. North Callaway shot the ball very well, and give them credit for how well they played tonight.” 

Anderson said at two different times, the Pirates opened up 9 or 10 point leads and felt like they may be able to pull away. However North Callaway just kept coming back, he said. Anderson added that Weber also hit some big shots for them and had six three-pointers.

The Thunderbirds may have also played with a chip on their shoulder in this game while leading Boonville 17-13 after one, 38-34 at the half and 48-46 after three quarters of play. However, in the one quarter that mattered the most, the Pirates were able to get it done by outscoring North Callaway 18-17 for the victory.

Senior Charlie Bronakowski led the Pirates in scoring for the third time in four games with 23 points. Jackson Johns chipped in 21 while Luke Green and D.J. Wesolak added nine and DaWan Lomax with three.

Anderson said Johns scored the first 10 points and had a career-high 21 points.

“Jackson was really good tonight and gave us some points early in the game when we were really struggling,” Anderson said. “He also hit two big free throws with five seconds to play to put us up four points and basically put the game away.”

Anderson said North Callaway hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to cut it back to one. 

As for Bronakowski’s play, Anderson said Charlie came up big for the Pirates, especially in the fourth quarter with two big threes and 10 total points. 

That being said, Anderson said defensively the Pirates just weren’t very good against North Callaway. “We seemed to be half a step late many times, and we gave up way too many open looks,” Anderson said. “But you’ll always take an ugly win over an ugly loss, and hopefully we can take some things from this performance tonight.”

Johns also finished the game with four rebounds, one steal and one blocked shot for Boonville. Bronakowski had 10 rebounds and two assists while Wesolak added five assists, three steals, two rebounds and one blocked shot, Green six assists, two blocked shots and one rebound, Jamesian McKee seven rebounds and one blocked shot, Lomax with three rebounds, two steals and one assist, Caidyn Hazel with one rebound and Edrissa Bah with one assist. 

Boonville also finished the game shooting 44.2 percent from the field, 44.4 percent from the three-point arc and 77.8 percent from the foul line. For North Callaway, the Mustangs shot 42.6 percent from the field, 32.3 percent from the three and 50 percent from the line. 

Matthew Weber had 24 points in the game for North Callaway while Dakota Cash tossed in 22.