Led by strong defensive pressure along with 23 points from Dezi Jones, the Hannibal boys basketball team cruised to a 62-39 win over Boonville.
John Trenhaile scored just four points Monday night. But the 6-foot-5 Hannibal senior made his biggest contributions on the defensive end.
With Trenhaile manning the middle of the Pirates defense, Boonville big man Avery Reardon was held to just eight points.
Led by strong defensive pressure along with 23 points from Dezi Jones, Hannibal cruised to a 62-39 North Central Missouri Conference win over visiting Boonville.
“We always harp in practice about our defense and how it can lead into easy transition offense,” Hannibal coach Marty Hull said. “Tonight we wanted to focus on our helpside defense on No. 20 (Reardon) and get the ball away from him. I thought we did a good job of doing that and John (Trenhaile) did a great job on that kid tonight.”
Reardon scored six of his eight points in the fourth quarter, when Hannibal had a commanding 20-plus point lead.
Hannibal forced the visiting Pirates into seven turnovers in the first quarter.
The loudest turnover came in the first minute, as Wyatt Waelder picked up a steal at midcourt and finished with a dunk for the first points of the game.
Hannibal did not look back the rest of the way.
The host Pirates led 16-4 after eight minutes of play. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Preston Bennett pushed the advantage to 22-4 with 5 minutes, 24 seconds left in the first half.
Freshman Charlie Bronakowski came off the Boonville bench and scored 11 points to keep the visitors within striking distance. Bronakowski scored the visiting Pirates final nine points of the half, but Hannibal still led 30-16.
“He is going to be a good one for them,” Hull said of the Boonville freshman.
But the second half belonged to another young player — Hannibal sophomore Adreke Brumbaugh.
The 6-foot forward scored eight of his 10 points in the final 16 minutes in addition to a game-high 16 rebounds.
“He is another one of our players who has not seen a lot of time, but he had a great game tonight and he is only going to get better and better,” the Hannibal coach said of his sophomore.
The 16 rebounds, which caught Brumbaugh off guard, set a new career high. He finished one point shy of tying his career best.
“I thought I only had nine or 10 rebounds,” the sophomore said. “And if I would have made most of my shots, I would have gotten a career-high in points too. But it was still a good game.”
He also came away with three steals to help the Pirates suffocating defense.
“We pride ourselves a lot on our defense,” Brumbaugh said. “It is the most important aspect of the game. If you have a good defense you can control the game and it gives you a better chance of winning.”
Bennett added 15 points behind knocking down a trio of 3-pointers.
The win, which improved Hannibal to 12-8 overall and 7-1 in NCMC play, was the seventh straight in conference for the Pirates.
“We are just playing some solid defense right now,” Hull said of a reason why the Pirates are having success.
Hannibal travels to conference foe Moberly on Friday.