The Boonville boys’ basketball team quickly learns that nothing is always easy.
On Monday night in the opening round of the Southern Boone Classic at Ashland, the Pirates led by as much as 13 points at halftime but saw that lead dwindle in the second half as St. Elizabeth recovered. Luckily, Boonville ended up with just enough points to win 60-57.
Boonville Boys basketball coach Mark Anderson said his team played reasonably well throughout the game but made a few mistakes in the second half and St. Elizabeth seemed to punish the Pirates every time they made one. “We had a few turnovers here and there, missed some pretty good shots and missed a few free throws,” Anderson said. “St. Elizabeth made some plays and hit some shots on the range. It was nice to get balanced scoring from Jackson, Luke, Dakota and DaWan.”
The Pirates, who improved to 6-12 in the season, had it all early on while leading St. Elizabeth 23-13 after one and 38-25 at halftime. However, in the third quarter, St. Elizabeth rebounded with a 14-10 advantage to reduce the lead to nine at 48-39. Meanwhile, St. Elizabeth made it even closer in the final period, beating Boonville 18-12 to make it a three-point ball game.
St. Elizabeth beat Boonville 32-22 in the second half.
“We got off to a good start and played really well in the first half and it felt like we should have been more than 13 points ahead, which was a little worrying,” Anderson said. “Believe St. Elizabeth, they withstood our rapid start and stayed. They slowly increased our lead in the second half, cutting it to nine at the end of the third quarter and five at the start of the fourth period, even taking a one-point lead with a minute left (which was their only lead of the game). Jackson Johns hit a drive off the wing with 38 seconds remaining and gave us a 58-57 lead. We forced a turnover with a faulty pass about 25 seconds from time as St. Elizabeth tried to get the ball to their best player, Brock Lucas, who is averaging 23 points and 11 rebounds this season. Dakota did a great job defensively, keeping him to just three field goals and 12 points overall that night. After a few fouls from St. Elizabeth to give us the bonus, Jackson hit both ends of one and one with 17 seconds to play to give us a three-point lead. Lucas missed a three with Dakota’s hand to his face with about 10 seconds left, but the ball bounced around and was deflected out of bounds. Lucas then missed another three around the corner, this time with DJ’s hand in front of the buzzer.”
Jackson Johns led four players in double digits for Boonville with 16 points along with six rebounds, three assists and a steal. Luke Green finished the game with 13 points and a steal, Dakota Troost also with 13 points, two steals, a rebound and an assist, DaWan Lomax with 12 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals, DJ Wesolak with two points and six assists, three rebounds and a steal, Evan Bishop two points, a rebound and an assist, and Caidyn Hazel with two points, two assists, two steals and a rebound.
As a team, Boonville shot 44 percent from the field, 29.2 percent from the three-point line, and 60 percent from the foul line. St. Elizabeth shot 41.5 percent from the field, 31.3 percent from three-pointers, and 69.2 percent from the free-throw line.
For St. Elizabeth, Jace Kesel had 16 points and Brock Lucas had 12 points.