For most of the season, if the Hannibal boys' basketball team is going to have any chance at a win, senior Dalton Powell needs to have a big game. But, despite Powell's 27 points, Hannibal lost 60-48 to Boonville Tuesday night.

"There is kind of a fine line between how much is too much," Hannibal coach Matt Pugh said. "At some point we are going to have to have some guys step up. That is something we have talked about."

Boonville jumped out to a 21-14 lead over Hannibal in the opening quarter, but the Pirates of Hannibal fought back, outscoring Boonville 12-11 in the second half. Trailing 24-17 with 5 minutes left in the second quarter. Hannibal rallied to tie the score at 26-26 with 3:10 left in the first half. Twice the Pirates of Hannibal missed on layups that would have given Hannibal a lead. Boonville then closed out the first half with a 6-0 run to take a 32-26 lead into the break.

"We just had a really tough time finishing tonight," Pugh said. "All of our guys, we had our opportunities to get some easy buckets and some points in the paint and we just couldn't finish tonight."

When play began in the third quarter, Hannibal opened with a 12-2 run to take a 38-34 lead. But Boonville came right back with a 6-0 run to retake the lead. Hannibal tied the game at 40-40 with 2:04 left in the third, but that would be the last time the game was tied. Powell scored all 12 of Hannibal's second quarter points.

Boonville took a 44-40 lead into the final eight minutes of play. Hannibal scored first on a layup from Lijah Harrison to get within two points, but Boonville countered with a huge run. Over the next 7:27, Boonville would increase its lead from 44-42 to 60-45. Boonville scored 12 straight points before Hannibal ended Boonville's run on a buzzer beating three-point shot from Mitch Nichols to end the game.

"There were two or three key possessions where the game was in the balance there," Pugh said. "We get a steal and a breakaway then missed the layup. We come back down, get another stop, come back down on our offensive end and miss another layup and I felt like those two misses, while they didn't necessarily make or break the game, I felt like that kind of gave (Boonville) back momentum and we couldn't seem to get over the hump after that."

While Powell led all scorers with his 27 points, he was the only Hannibal player to finish in double figures. Nichols was the next highest Hannibal scorer with 8 points, all of which came in the second half.

"You put so much pressure on your offense that way," Pugh said. "Offensively it just feels like you have to score every trip down just to keep the game close and competitive. It has been a huge character building season so far and I don't see that changing."

Boonville had three players finish the night in double figures. Ta'Vious Brazil and Jay Barnhart both had a team-high 16 points for Boonville while Damario Walker turned in 14 points. Tyler Peterson just missed double-figures as he contributed 8 points for the Pirates of Boonville.

With the loss, Hannibal falls to 5-12 on the season and 0-5 in North Central Missouri Conference play. Hannibal will have the rest of the week off. The Pirates will return to the hardwood on Tuesday, Jan. 22 with another NCMC foe in Fulton.

"Tomorrow it's the middle of the week and we are going to give them the day off," Pugh said. "It is kind of unusual, but after a tough loss like this, I think sometimes it is beneficial to get their minds away from it for a day. We will come back (Thursday) and get in the routine and practice on Friday and Saturday. Monday is an off day from school so we will practice in the morning and hopefully have a productive practice and get ready for Fulton."