Senior night for the Hannibal boys’ basketball team had everything the Pirates could have wanted, with a large crowd, a good game, and a huge scoring performance from the only senior on the team. In fact, the only thing Hannibal didn’t get was a win as the Pirates lost 56-52 to Moberly Friday night.
“We got down there late in the fourth quarter, but we were able to battle back,” Hannibal senior Dalton Powell said. “It didn’t end quite the way we wanted it, but I really couldn’t ask for anything else than the effort we had on my senior night.”
Playing catchup all game, Hannibal fell behind by as many as 12 points with 3:16 left in the fourth quarter. But the Pirates didn’t give up and mounted a comeback that just fell short.
“Like most of the time, I thought our effort was really good,” Hannibal coach Matt Pugh said. “On the offensive side, that was about as good as I have ever seen us with our execution. Obviously we didn’t hit every shot, but I felt like we got the shots that we wanted to get offensively for the vast majority of our possessions.”
Eric Hugenberg and Powell hit hack-to-back three pointers to cut the lead in half. A layup from Dylan Powell moved the Pirates within four points, 50-54, with 43 seconds remaining.
After a Moberly free throw pushed the Spartans’ lead back up to five points, Dalton Powell sank a layup to pull the Pirates within three points, 55-52 with 10 seconds remaining.
Pugh was proud of his team for the way they did not give up and battled back.
“Hopefully that shows them that if they will play with that kind of sense of urgency and commitment, especially on the defensive end to get stops,” Pugh said, “I think we can execute on the offensive end at a level we did tonight. Hopefully that can build some momentum that we can carry over going forward not only this year, but carry over into the offseason and have something positive to go off of.”
But Hannibal would get no closer. Dylan Powell had a chance, twice in fact, to cut the lead to two points, but could not get the ball to fall in for a layup. Then a Moberly player was fouled with 5 seconds remaining.
“I just bricked it,” Dylan Powell said. “I should have made it and I let my team down. But, I will come back tomorrow and get it.”
Moberly’s J’Von Spiller missed the first free throw, but made the second to make to effectively seal the Spartan’s win at 56-52 as the Pirates needed to score twice with only five seconds on the clock.
Dalton Powell, playing in his final Friday night game at Korf Gymnasium, led all scorers with a game-high 27 points.
“I was trying to prepare myself for it,” Dalton Powell said. “But, it still really gets you. This is the last Friday night I am going to play in Korf Gymnasium. I am really glad I had the opportunities I did here.”
When his team needed him most, Powell was there. Nine of Powell’s points came during the Pirates’ fourth quarter rally.
“That is really the roll I have had all season,” Powell said. “I just try to do what the team needs me to do whenever it needs to be done.”
Hannibal fell behind 15-9 during the opening quarter of play. Dalton Powell scored all nine of the Pirates’ points during those first eight minutes.
In the second quarter, Hannibal fought back and outscored Moberly 16-14. Freshman Dylan Powell had six of his 13 points in the second quarter while older brother Dalton added in another 6 points.
“It was a hard fought game and we gave it our all,” Dylan Powell said. “We just got into a little hole and we didn’t have enough time to come back.”
Moberly outscored Hannibal 13-10 during the third quarter, but at one point the Pirates had pulled within one point, 36-35, of Moberly. Four times during the course of the game, Hannibal got within one point, but the Pirates never tied the game or held a lead.
“Those are when you have got to have those key stops defensively,” Pugh said. “You get it within one, and you have got to really dig in and get a stop and then give yourself an opportunity to score. It seemed like every time we got it within one, we would give up penetration to (J’Von) Spiller or something like that.”
Dylan Powell finished the game with a double-double. In addition to his 13 points, Dylan Powell also pulled down 10 rebounds, six of which came during the fourth quarter.
“Everybody is just doing their role and trying to get the win,” Dylan Powell said. “We came up a little short. But, if we continue to do our roles and play hard, we can make a run.”
Moberly had three players finish the night in double figures. Tanner Wetrich led the Spartans with 16 points while Spiller and Rashaun Smith both turned in 15 points.
The Pirates will be back out on the court this afternoon when Hannibal hosts Marshall in the Pirates’ final home game of the season.
“It is going to be tough,” Pugh said. “It is always tough when you have a quick turnaround. Especially when you have a game that had the build-up and the feel that this one had. Several guys played a lot of minutes and several guys put up big numbers. Hopefully we can bounce back. We are going to have to have some other guys step up tomorrow and give us some quality minutes off the bench.”