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Boonville struggles on the road in 81-67 loss against unbeaten Mexico

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News

Boonville Pirates basketball coach Mark Anderson talked about three keys to winning Monday night’s game against the undefeated Mexico Bulldogs.

Anderson said the first key was to get back in defensive transition while the second key was to contain the basketball and don’t let Mexico drive to the rim. As for the third, Anderson said Boonville had to rebound.

As it turned out, Anderson said the Pirates didn’t do any of those things very well, and, at least tonight, the better team won.

Mexico remained unbeaten on the season with a 81-67 win over Boonville. The loss dropped the Pirates to 5-4 overall. 

“We didn’t play very well tonight and didn’t execute well enough to win, especially on the defensive end of the floor,” Anderson said. “Give Mexico some credit, they’re a very good basketball team and they’re very athletic. But we just didn’t do anything to take them out of their comfort zone and to make them uncomfortable. We gave up too many baskets in transition, and we gave up too many baskets on direct drives to the rim. And, with our size, we gave up way too many offensive rebounds and putbacks. We also turned the ball over too much tonight, and many of those turnovers led to Mexico layups. We played well enough on the offensive end-scoring 67 points-two win, but we just weren’t very good on the defensive end. The game tonight had the feel of a district playoff game, and hopefully we’ll learn something from our performance tonight.”

What the learned for three quarters is that they were just as good as Mexico. Although the Bulldogs led by six (21-15) after first period’s end, Boonville closed the gap in the second quarter with a 18-17 advantage to cut the lead to five at 38-33. The Pirates also kept the game within distance in the third quarter after matching Mexico with 16 points. Unfortunately for Boonville, they never got any closer in the ballgame as Mexico came out and held a 27-18 scoring edge in the final period for the 14 point win. 

Anderson said obviously the Pirates are in the middle of a tough stretch of games and are about to play their fourth road game in seven days with a game Tuesday at Centralia. 

“We have to play better basketball than what we played tonight,” Anderson said. “We’re certainly facing some adversity after two straight losses-both admittedly against very good teams-and we’ll see how we respond and how we react against Centralia. We knew we had to play very well tonight to go on the road and beat a really good Class 5 team, and we just didn’t do enough things and made too many mistakes. There’s no rest for the weary, as we turn back around tomorrow and go on the road to Centralia, who’s currently 6-3 on the season and playing very good basketball.”

Isaiah Reams led three players in double figures for Mexico with 23 points. Drew Blevins chipped in 17 and Daeye Miller 10.

For Boonville, Charlie Bronakowski tallied 21 points. Luke Green finished the game with 14, Jackson Johns 11, Lane West nine, D.J. Wesolak seven, Kayle Rice three and DaWan Lomax with two.

Bronakowski also had six rebounds, four assists and one steal in the game while Green added three assists, two blocked shots and one rebound, Johns with three rebounds, two steals and one assist, West six rebounds, two assists and one steal, Wesolak six rebounds, four assists and one steal, and Rice three rebounds, three assists and one steal. 

Boonville also finished the game shooting 45 percent from the field, 29.2 percent from the three-point arc and 60 percent from the foul line. Mexico shot 50 percent from the field, 62.5 percent from three and 70.6 percent from the foul line. 

Mexico also won both the JV and freshmen games, beating Boonville 63-53 and 40-36, respectively.

In the JV game, the Bulldogs led Boonville 29-21 at the half and then outscored the Pirates 34-32 in the second half.

Boonville JV coach Brock Hill said he thought the JV team took a step forward in this game. “After our game on Friday we really wanted to come out and prove that we are better than we played that night,” Hill said. “We didn’t have that quarter where we couldn’t score last night. In every game before this one we didn’t put the ball in the hoop for all four quarters. It seems we would always take at least one off. Mexico is a good team. They were bigger than us and were really athletic for a JV team. Rebounding was a problem for us. We still aren’t putting bodies on guys for rebounds. They would sometimes get 3 to 4 shots a possession. We can’t win like that. Overall, I was happy with the effort they gave all night even though we ended up on the losing end. We competed tonight for all four quarters. It’s never fun to be on the losing end of any game but I thought this showed that we are moving in the right direction.”

Colby Caton led the scoring attack in the game for Boonville’s JV, who dropped to 0-4, with 21 points. Caidyn Hazel chipped in 14, Dakota Troost 11, Garrett Hundley five and Rhodes Leonard with two.

Brayden Dunn had 17 and Danta Kelley 15 for Mexico.

In the freshmen game, Mexico led Boonville 31-16 at the half and then outscored the Pirates 15-14 in the second half.

Boonville freshmen coach Blake Hackman said this was a game that he was really looking forward to since they had already played Mexico in their freshmen tournament. “We knew going into the game that Nannelly was their best player and we were going to have to stop him from scoring off the pick and roll,” Hackman said. “We worked on how we were going to defend him, but we had too many breakdowns and allowed him to score easy buckets. He is a good player, so we knew he was going to score, but we didn’t do a great job of limiting his touches. Last time we played them their press really hurt us. This time we did a much better job handling their pressure, and got some easy buckets out of it. We are looking forward to playing Hallsville on Friday at home.”

Ross Brackman had the team high for Boonville with six points. Rhodes Leonard, Blake Griffin and Luke Poulsen each had five points while Ben Lutz chipped in four, Bentley Turner three and Lawson Edwards with two.

For Mexico, Nannelly had 17 and Broeker six.