Pirates win home opener against Hallsville, 79-59

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
Four senior members of the Boonville Pirates basketball team were honored along with their parents during Senior Night Saturday against Hallsville.

The Boonville Pirates basketball team made the most of the opportunity Saturday while hosting the Hallsville Indians in a Tri-County Conference game.

After playing on the road for all of December and part of January, the Pirates took advantage of their home court Saturday while leading Hallsville from start to finish for a 79-59 victory.

While the win improved Boonville’s record to 7-4 overall and 2-1 in the TCC, head coach Mark Anderson said he thought the Pirates size really gave Hallsville some problems. 

“We probably could have done a little better job of exploiting size mismatches in the post, but we really did a great job on the boards,” Anderson said. “We out-rebounded them 53-25, including 15 offensive rebounds. We had five guys with seven rebounds or more. In addition, we also shot the ball really well today from the floor, shooting 33 of 57 from the field. In the first half, we had really good possessions and shared the ball really well. I thought our ball movement in the first half was outstanding, and we made the extra pass often to get better shots. I think we got away from that in the third quarter and our possessions weren’t nearly as good. We tried to play too fast in the second half, and we took too many quick shots and didn’t reverse the ball on many possessions. Early in the season, we really struggled from the free throw line, and in the last few games our free throw shooting had dramatically improved; however, our free throw shooting problems certainly resurfaced yesterday, going 9 of 24 from the line, and that’s definitely something we’ll have to work on.”

Aside from shooting 38 percent from the foul line in the game, the Pirates pretty much did everything else right while leading Hallsville 16-11 after one and 40-20 at the break. However, in the third quarter, Hallsville outscored Boonville 19-13 to cut the lead to 14 at 53-39. The Indians never got any closer after that as Boonville held a 26-18 advantage in the final period to win by 20.

D.J. Wesolak and Luke Green each had 16 points in the game for Boonville. Jackson Johns chipped in 15 while Charlie Bronakowski and Kayle Rice added eight points each, Lane West and DaWan Lomax seven points each and Axton Nease with two points. 

West also had a team-high 10 rebounds in the game while Wesolak and Green added nine rebounds each, Bronakowski eight, Johns seven, Rice four, Dakota Troost two and Lomax with one.

Wesolak also had two steals and three assists while Green and West added three assists each, Johns with two assists and one steal, Bronakowski also with two assists and Lomax with one assist.

Anderson said all four seniors scored, which is nice on Senior Night. “Charlie really struggled to score today, but give some credit to Hallsville for creating a lot of traffic around him,” Anderson said. “But also give credit to our other players for stepping up and having big games. Lane West played a great game, and it was awesome to see him have his first career dunk on Senior Night. Kayle Rice had a big game and always does so many things for us, many of which don’t show up on the stat sheet. Axton also hit a shot in the second quarter in the midst of our 24-9 quarter. I thought D.J. played great today and was much more assertive than in the past several games. Luke and Jackson also had big games for us, and both of them found several different ways to score.”

In the JV game, Hallsville defeated Boonville in overtime 63-61.

The Pirates, dropping to 0-6 overall and 0-3 in the TCC, led Hallsville 21-19 at the half and 39-35 after three quarters of play but was outscored 24-20 in the final period to tie the game at 59-all. Meanwhile, in overtime, Hallsville outscored Boonville 4-2.

Boonville JV coach Brock Hill said you know you have to deliver.

“This is a big game for us, and these are the games that we all want to be a part of,” Hill said. “This was our home opener and a conference matchup. We have to be able to box out to get rebounds when you got to the foul line you’ve got to knock them in. And if you’re a team that struggles securing defensive rebounds at the end of games and you don’t make free throws you’re vulnerable. Part of winning is being able to deliver down the stretch. If we made our free throws and took away a couple key second shots we would have a hard-fought victory that probably wouldn’t have gone into overtime. If I look at this game objectively it was really a fun game to be a part of. We just didn’t make the plays down the stretch to win. The end of this game still haunts me. We were up six with 16 seconds left. They throw the ball in and push it down the court to shoot a three. Bang! It goes in. It wasn’t poorly defending or anything. The kid just hit a shot. It’s now a three point game with just 10 seconds left. It’s our ball and we are still in control. They are in the bonus so they have to foul. All we have to do is get the ball in and knock down free throws. We missed two big ones and we they have the bal up in a hurry and we just flat lose a guy. We had two guys closing out on the ballhandler and he passed the ball to a wide open player in the corner. A kid that only hit one shot all night but man was it a big one. We just can’t lose a guy on defense like that, especially in that situation. Credit to Hallsville. They made the plays when they needed them.”

Colby Caton had 22 points to lead all scorers for Boonville. Caidyn Hazel chipped in 18, Dakota Troost 13, Blake Griffin three, Bentley Turner and Garrett Hundley two each and Zane Watring with one.

For Hallsville, Blake Stone had 17, Noah Whittle 13 and Kolton Garner with 12.