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Pirates win 72-59 over Sedalia Smith-Cotton

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
Boonville senior Lane West puts up a shot near the baseline in the second half Friday night against Sedalia Smith-Cotton.
Boonville senior Charlie Bronakowski had another big night with a team-high 26 points in a 72-59 win over Sedalia Smith-Cotton. The win improved Boonville’s record to 13-6 overall.

After a very vocal practice on Thursday, Boonville Pirates basketball coach Mark Anderson thought he had gotten his point across that you play how you practice.

However after falling behind 9-2 three minutes into the game Friday night against Sedalia Smith-Cotton, Anderson wasn’t so sure.

Nonetheless, the Pirates were able to regroup in time to pull away from the Tigers in the second half for a 72-59 victory.

While the win improved Boonville’s record to 13-6 overall, Anderson said he thought the team came out a little flat.

“We let their best player, who had a huge star beside his name, come out and get an open look and two layups, so it just wasn’t a very good start,” Anderson said. “I thought we were going to pull away in the second half but then we let them hang around and all of a sudden we had a basketball game on our hands. We did at least respond to that in the second half and I thought we shared the ball better and made some plays. Defensively, I thought the team played pretty well with the exception of some looks that we gave to the Thompson kid. But we did some good things also and ended up pulling away late.”

Going back to that first quarter, the Tigers may have caught the Pirates back on their heels a little bit early on while leading by as much as seven on three different occasions. But give Boonville credit, they fought back and had the lead down to three twice before a three at the buzzer Matt Thompson to make it 21-15.

The Pirates were much better in the second quarter while outscoring Smith-Cotton 23-10 to lead by four (38-34) at the break.

Although Boonville could never really pull away from Smith-Cotton in the first half, they did put together two good runs while reeling off eight straight in a 43 second span to go up for the first time in the game at 25-23. The Pirates also went on a 6-0 run in a matter of one minute to up the lead to seven at 31-24. It also helped having senior Charlie Bronakowski hit several big shots while finishing with 11 of the team’s 23 points.

Anderson said its always nice when Charlie and DJ (Wesolak) have big nights. “I think our bigs being so universal, where they can shoot down low or step outside and hit the three, was also huge,” Anderson said. “You can also add Lane West to that mix. Those guys can open space and make it tough for teams to guard us. We also got several backdoor cuts tonight, which we haven’t gotten a ton of this year.”

But then the Tigers made it tough on Boonville. Although the Pirates still outscored Smith-Cotton 16-12 in the third period, the Tigers had the lead down to three at 42-39 with 6:20 left. However for the duration of the quarter, the Pirates held a 12-7 scoring edge to lead by eight at 54-46.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that Bronakowski ended up fouling out of the game at the 1:49 mark with Boonville leading 64-54. The Pirates still managed to outscored Smith-Cotton 18-13 in the period while never letting the lead get below seven.

Boonville’s biggest lead in the fourth came with 38 seconds left after West canned 1 of 2 foul shots to make it 70-56.

After the game, Anderson said you have to like the fact that Boonville has now won four in a row. “I didn’t think we played great, but we held a kid that had 19 points in the first half to 10 in the second half,” Anderson said. “We just have to stop letting team’s best players have their best nights against us. We also have to do a better job of shooting free throws. We’re shooting something like 54 percent for the season and it probably got worse tonight. It’s probably mental to some extent but it seems like we have a lot of guys struggling at the line.”

The Pirates were less than great against Smith-Cotton while shooting 58.5 percent from the charity stripe. The Tigers shot 84.6 percent from the line.

As for the scoring, Bronakowski finished the game with 26 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Wesolak chipped in 19 points, three rebounds and two steals while West added 15 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and two steals, Kayle Rice eight points, five rebounds and three assists, Luke Green two points and one steal and DaWan Lomax two points and one assist and Jackson Johns with five rebounds and one steal. 

For Smith-Cotton, Thompson had 29 and Dane Foster with 15.

In the JV game, Smith-Cotton defeated Boonville 61-31.

The Pirates, 1-10 on the season, trailed 26-13 at the half and 45-16 after three. Smith-Cotton also held a 16-15 advantage in the fourth.

Boonville JV coach Brock Hill said offensively the Pirates let Smith-Cotton’s press bother them and force them into too many turnovers. “We need to be more consistent with our play both on offense and defense,” Hill said. “We just need to work and get better.”

Kennedy Brown had 17 and Akarius StatenBallance 15 for Sedalia. 

For Boonville, Colby Caton had 14, Bentley Turner eight, Caidyn Hazel four, Garrett Hundley and Blake Griffin each with two and Dakota Troost with one.