The Hannibal boys’ basketball team won for the fourth time in its last five contests and its third straight Thursday night when the Pirates traveled to Macon and beat the Tigers 63-50.
“I think we have fixed a few little small things, especially on the defensive end” Hannibal coach Matt Pugh said. “I feel like we are doing a better job of taking away our opponents strengths a little bit better than we have early in the year. I think we are also kind of settling in to who we are and our roles.”
The guiding force behind the Pirates recent success has been the Pirates lone senior, Dalton Powell. Powell scored a season high 30 points against Macon, his fifth straight game with 20 or more points.
“He has been playing really well, ever since the break,” Pugh said. “At times he kind of carries the load for us on the offensive end and hopefully we can keep getting him touches where he needs to get the touches and getting him the basketball in the spots where he can be effective. I feel like if we can keep him going, we have got a chance in every game.”
The opening eight minutes had Hannibal and Macon battle back and forth. Macon ended the quarter with a 12-10 lead, but that would be the last time they would lead.
Powell scored more than half the Pirates first quarter points as he hit a pair of three-pointers for Hannibal in the opening quarter.
In the second quarter, the Pirates offense came to life. Powell had a pair of buckets and was a perfect 6-for-6 at the charity stripe for 10 points. As a team, Hannibal outscored Macon 21-15 in the second quarter and went into the break leading 31-27.
“In the first, I kind of felt like we were really just trying to feel our way through it,” Pugh said. “I kind of felt like when we started the game we kind of had a little bit of a hangover from the Palmyra game with that big crowd. ... But, they answered the bell in the second quarter and put it away in the third quarter.”
The Pirates came close to doubling up Macon in the third quarter when Hannibal outscored the Tigers 16-9. Heading into the final eight minutes of play leading 47-36, the Pirates had a comfortable lead.
While the Pirates outscored the Tigers, Powell matched Macon point for point all by himself as he finished the third quarter with 9 points.
While Macon never quit, they were just too far back. The Pirates again outscored Macon 16-14 in the final eight minutes of the game. Powell scored 5 points in the fourth quarter, all of them coming from the free throw line.
In all, Powell hit three three-pointers and three buckets while going 13-of-16 at the free throw line.
Freshman Dylan Powell finished the night with 9 points, ending his two game streak of 20-plus point games. Lijah Harrison and Eric Hugenberg both chipped in 7 points for the Pirates while Daniel Fohey and Mitch Nichols each finished the night with 3 points.
Hannibal improves to 5-10 on the season and will be back on the court Satuday as the Pirates look to continue its recent success with a game against North Central Missouri Conference rival Marshall. Tipoff is slated for 4 p.m.
Hannibal JV beats Monroe City
The Hannibal junior varsity boys’ basketball team beat Monroe City 48-40 Thursday.
“It was a real solid win for the team,” Hannibal JV coach Craig Altheide said. “Everyone contributed. We started strong and had a few lapses, but we continued to play strong.”
The Pirates had a pair of players finish in double-figures. Mario Jones led the Pirates with 15 points while Jerry McBride had 12. Jack Richards finished with 9 points and Skyler Lemons scored 6 points coming off the bench.
The Pirates JV team improves to 4-5 on the season.