Francis Howell built a sizable lead in the first quarter Monday and beat Hannibal 69-63 despite 39 points from Pirates junior Dezi Jones.

If granted one wish, the Hannibal boys basketball team would want to erase the way it played in the first quarter against Francis Howell on Monday in the opening round of the Troy Tournament.

Without it, the Pirates would have pulled off a 17-point upset.

With it, they lost by six.

The Vikings, the No. 2 seed, built a 27-4 lead through the first eight minutes and never looked back to knock off seventh-seeded Hannibal 69-63. 

Dezi Jones led all scorers with a career-high 39 points for the Pirates, who closed their gap to 14 at halftime and to six late in the third quarter. Jones then netted 13 of Hannibal's 16 points in the fourth as a comeback bid fell just short. The junior drained three 3-pointers on the night.

“(Jones) let the game come to him,” Hannibal coach Marty Hull said of his star junior. “He did not force up a lot of shots, and he relied on his teammates to get him open.” 

Despite outscoring Francis Howell 33-25 in the second half, Hannibal couldn't climb out of a hole created in part by Matt Simmons, who scored 17 points to lead the Vikings.

Wyatt Waelder contributed nine points for the Pirates, while Danny Colborn added seven.