The Hannibal boys' seventh grade basketball team scored first Thursday night, but that would be the last time the Jr. Pirates would lead as Hannibal fell 39-22 to Palmyra.
With Palmyra's regular head coach unable to be at the game, Palmyra's varsity coach, Brian Meny, filled in.
"It looked nice," Meny said. "The kids played hard. The pressing style is what we do at the high school level and we are trying to incorporate that at the junior high level. I am pleased with the kids."
Hannibal head coach Brett Neimann said the first quarter did his team in.
"The first quarter hurt us," Neimann said. "They called two quick ones on our big boy and their big man owned us inside with our only center on the bench. So those two fouls killed the team at the start."
As a team, Hannibal (0-3) barely outscored Palmyra's Trae Meny 22-20 for the entire game.
After Hannibal scored first, Palmyra took the lead on a three-pointer from Meny. Meny then hit another trey to put the Jr. Panthers up 6-2. By the end of the first quarter, Palmyra was in the midst of a 12-0 run. Meny finished the first quarter with 8 of the Jr. Panthers' 12 points.
"Trae hit a couple of threes," Brian Meny said. "He shoots the ball really well."
Hannibal's offense found some life in the second quarter, but it wasn't enough as Palmyra outscored the Jr. Pirates 13-8 to take a 25-10 lead into the break.
Meny added another three-pointer and a bucket in the second quarter to give himself 13 points in the opening 12 minutes of play. Also scoring the second quarter was Jase Wallingford. Wallingford finished the night with 8 points, all of which came in the second quarter.
"I thought we got the ball inside really well tonight," Brian Meny said. "The Wallington boy, I thought he played well. He missed some shots, but that is a shot we will take a chance on."
Meny scored his final 7 points of the game in the third quarter while Palmyra limited Hannibal to just four points.
Hannibal outscored Palmyra 8-6 in the fourth quarter, but the Jr. Panthers (6-2) were playing without Meny. With Palmyra already well ahead, coach Meny decided to rest his star player.
"We fought hard to the end," Niemann said. "We were a little outmatched the entire game, but the boys played hard. They did a lot of things well, but we have a lot of work to do yet."
Hannibal had a 3-player tie for the team lead in scoring. Lucas Brown, Davion Tate, and Cody Allensworth all scored four points for the Jr. Pirates. Allensworth had Hannibal's on three-pointer of the game.
"At times we exceeded our expectations," Neimann said. "We were flying around on defense and causing the other team some trouble. We got some good easy quick buckets. But, at other times, my compliments to the other team (Palmyra), they took us away from what we wanted to do."
Monday, Hannibal will host Mexico while Palmyra will travel to Center.