Boonville boys have one bad quarter against Blair Oaks

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News

One quarter.

That’s all that separated the Boonville Pirates basketball team from beating the Blair Oaks Falcons Friday night in Tri-County Conference action in Wardsville.

Take away the third quarter and Boonville matches Blair Oaks in the three remaining periods 47-47.

However, in the third quarter, the Falcons pretty much owned Boonville by outscoring the Pirates 27-12 for a 74-59 victory.

The loss dropped Boonville to 5-3 overall and 1-1 in the TCC. Blair Oaks improved to 8-2 overall and 1-0 in league play.

Boonville led Blair Oaks 15-11 after first period’s end but then was outscored 19-12 in the second quarter to trail at the half by three at 30-27. Meanwhile, in the third quarter, the Falcons dominated Boonville in every facet of the game by outscoring the Pirates 27-12 to lead by 18 at 57-39.  Boonville rallied back with a 20-17 advantage in the final period but it was too little too late.

“We played a really good first half and led most of the way, including a 27-22 lead kind of late in the half,” said Boonville coach Mark Anderson. “But Blair Oaks scored the last 8 points of the half to take a 30-27 halftime lead.  Unfortunately, they kind of bombarded us in the third quarter to pull away.  They just seemed to hit everything that they shot in that quarter.  

“We really wanted to limit easy baskets and easy looks for Northweather and Kusgen, and I thought we did a good job of that in the first half, but Blair Oaks has so many weapons, and then you get a kid like Closser, who steps up and goes 6 for 7 from the 3-point line.  (Blair Oaks was 11-for-18 overall from the 3-point line on the night.)  You know that Northweather is going to get his, and you’d like to limit his damage, but he’s a gifted player and is able to score both inside and from the three-point line.  Not to mention the fact that he’s 6’9” and just really hard to deal with.  Northweather was 9/9 from inside the arc and 3/4 from the 3-point line.  When you get two guys with those kind of nights, Blair Oaks is practically impossible to beat.”

Despite the loss, Anderson said the players had great energy in the first half, and really had good possessions, but Blair Oaks cranked up their defense as the game went along.

“Our baskets were harder and harder to come by,” Anderson said. “I was proud of how we fought and battled, but we just have to avoid those stretches against really good teams where we let them go on runs.  We played really well in long stretches against Blair Oaks in the two games this year, but we just have to figure out a way to put together a complete game against the best teams on our schedule.”

Luke Northweather led three players in double figures for Blair Oaks with 33 points. Jake Closser chipped in 24 while Quin Kusgen added 12.

For Boonville, Charlie Bronakowski and Jackson Johns each had 22 while Luke Green added 10 and Lane West with five.

“Charlie was really good again tonight, with 22 points - and was guarded most of the night by Northweather,” Anderson said. “It was good to see Jackson Johns have a big game, also with 22 points.  Jackson really stepped up to the moment in a big-time game and had some big baskets for us.

“It doesn’t get much easier as we turn around and travel to undefeated (9-0) and state-ranked Mexico on Monday night, followed the following night with a trip to Centralia (who’s 5-3 on the year).  It will be our 9th and 10th straight games to open the season away from home, and our 4th and 5th straight true road games.  We won’t have our first home game until Friday night against Hallsville, who’s currently 6-2 on the year. “

Boonville also struggled in the JV game, losing to Blair Oaks 76-20.

The Pirates, 0-3 overall and 0-2 in the TCC, trailed Blair Oaks 52-17 at the half and 70-19 after three.

Boonville JV coach Brock Hill said there is nothing positive to say about this game except that it is over. “”We just did not show up to play, period,” Hill said. “I was very disappointed in our overall effort. We came out flat with no energy. Defensively, we just didn’t guard anybody. They got layups and open looks all night. We can’t win games if we don’t defend. We can’t give up 50 points in a half and expect to be competitive. Offensively, we struggled to score and couldn’t hold onto the ball. Turnovers killed us. We were already down by 30 at half. Then we came out in the second half and put up three points total. I thought we took a huge step back in this game.”

Chase Schnieders had 19 points and Brayden Lehmen 13 for Blair Oaks.

For Boonville, Caidyn Hazel had six, Garrett Hundley four, Zane Watring three, Dakota Troost, Colby Caton and Lawson Edwards each with two and Rhodes Leonard with one.

In the freshmen game, Blair Oaks beat Boonville 50-17.

The Pirates, 0-3 overall and 0-1 in the TCC, trailed Blair Oaks 19-8 at the half and then were outscored 31-7 in the final two periods.

Boonville freshmen coach Blake Hackman said the boys started the game flat and couldn’t score the basketball. “We defended well in the first half, but we couldn’t score the ball,” Hackman said. “We turned the ball over too many times and didn’t give ourselves a chance to be successful on offense. We did a good job handling the ball against their press, but once we got into the half court, we struggled.”

Glavin had 12 and Lear 11 to lead all scorers for Blair Oaks.

For Boonville, Rhodes Leonard tossed in four points while Eric Kearns added three and Lawson Edwards, Blake Griffin, Ross Brackman and Abrahm Taylor each with two.