Leading by two after three quarters of play Saturday in the third place game of the Southern Boone Classic proved to be a bad omen for the Boonville Pirates basketball team.
With the Hallsville Indians leading by as much as five in the first half and Boonville up by that much in the third quarter, one would figure that both teams would battle it out until the final seconds in the final period.
As it turned out, the Indians were the only team to put up much of a fight in the fourth by outscoring Boonville 31-18 for a 82-71 victory.
After winning a thriller in the opening round against Fatima 58-56, the Pirates looked a little out of sorts against Fulton and Hallsville while losing to the Hornets 64-56 and by 11 against Hallsville-a team they had beaten earlier in the Centralia Tournament.
The loss dropped Boonville to 13-8 overall.
“This game was very close until the fourth quarter when Hallsville scored 31 to win the game.  We held a lead deep in the third by five points and had a chance to increase the lead, but we turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions which opened the door for Hallsville to make it a two point ballgame heading into the fourth quarter.  I felt that if we could have extended the lead to 7 or 8 late in the third quarter we could have put ourselves in a better position to possibly win the game.  But a couple of three point baskets by Hallsville late in the third allowed them to get right back in the ballgame.”
Floyd said Hallsville had the momentum going into the 4th quarter and they took advantage of it.  
Of course it didn’t help that Hallsville went on three different runs in the fourth of 6, 7 and 6 straight points or that Boonville was held to only five field goals-many of which came late in the ballgame.
Turnovers and empty possessions also doomed the Pirates in the fourth.
But even then Boonville had a chance down by only six at 67-61 with 3:15 left. However a 6-0 run all but quelled any comeback by the Pirates as Hallsville extended its lead to 12 at 73-61 with 1:15 remaining.
“Offensively we did a nice job throughout the night attacking the match-up zone of Hallsville,” Floyd said.  “Defensively we had our problems.  We gave the Indians way too many second chance points by simply not rebounding.  Hallsville was able to enter the ball to the post where they were able to pass out to perimeter shooters for open 3’s.  We gave up too many 3’s tonight.  The 10 3 point buckets that Hallsville hit were a season high for our defense.  We typically do a much better job of defending 3’s.  But when you give a team like Hallsville second and third attempts to hit shots they usually will score.  Fortunately we are back at home now for 3 out of our 4 remaining regular season games.  Windsor Gym will be a welcome sight after not playing at home since December 15, a span of 13 games.  Hopefully playing at home will help in getting some late season victories, plus, we have a chance to win some more conference games. We have to get better because district competition is only two short weeks away.”
The Boonville Pirates basketball team trailed only once in the first quarter as Hallsville took a 5-4 lead with 6:23 left.
But from that point on the Pirates outscored the Indians 14-11 to lead by a score of 18-16.
As expected this game was back and forth early with both teams combining for five threes. Boonville senior Riley Lang also had a tough first quarter while leaving the game with a shiner at the 4:37 mark and then going down hard on a charging call with 36 seconds remaining.
In the second quarter, Boonville and Hallsville played to four ties at 22-22, 28-28, 30-30 and 34-34. However for the final minute and 40 seconds, the Indians hit two free throws and a three to lead the Pirates by five at the half 39-34.
Although it didn’t look good early on for Boonville down by seven (41-34) with 7:38 left, the Pirates were able to rally back with 10 straight points during a two minute stretch to lead by five at 48-43.
Unfortunately for Boonville, they weren’t able to build on the lead as Hallsville rallied back to tie the game after back to back threes at 51-all. Then, in the final 30 seconds, senior Nick Zeitlow scored on a short jumper to put the Pirates up 53-51.
Ethan Thompson leads the Hallsville attack with 27 points. Graham Moser has 15, Luke Hicks 13 and Brayden Blakemore with 10.
For Boonville, Riley Lang finishes with 21 points, four rebounds and three assists. Ryan Beaver chipped in 18 points and four assists while Alec Adair added 16 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals, Nick Zeitlow nine points, 13 rebounds, two assists and two steals, Avery Reardon with seven points and three rebounds and Clayton Gochenour with one rebound.
It’s safe to say the Pirates were off from the three-point arc while hitting only 5 of 21 shots for 24 percent. However, from the field for the game, Boonville hit 24 of 59 shots for 41 percent. They shot 75 percent from the foul line.