The Hannibal girls basketball team got off to a lackluster start and couldn't recover in a 68-39 home loss to Moberly on Thursday night.

On the road, Moberly dialed up long distance early and often Thursday night inside Korf Gymnasium.

The Lady Spartans connected on their first five attempts from behind the arc as they raced out to an early 15-1 lead.

The deficit proved too big of a hole for Hannibal to climb out of as it fell 68-39 in a North Central Missouri Conference game.

“It was kind of exact opposite of Monday night against Boonville,” Lady Pirates coach Ben Jamerson noted. “They missed their first few attempts, then they poured it on. Tonight, Moberly came out hitting (the three) from the start, and it’s just real hard to come back from that, both score-wise and mentally. That is tough.”

The Hannibal defense allowed 11 3-pointers in its loss Monday night, while Moberly connected on 12.

Mary Billington and Sydney Flood did the most damage early as the duo combined for five made 3-pointers.

But the Lady Pirates would put up a fight.

Kaylee Falconer scored on a pair of drives in the final minute of the opening stanza to help Hannibal pull to within 18-9.

A 3-pointer by Keri Bareis closed the gap to 22-16 with 4 minutes, 42 seconds left in the first half.

The teams traded buckets the remainder of the half, as the Spartans led 32-24 at the intermission.

Before a pair of free throws from Bareis and Falconer in the final 41 seconds of the half, Hannibal missed seven of its first eight shots from the charity stripe.

“Those missed free throws were huge,” the Lady Pirates coach said. “If we hit even four of those ones we missed you are talking about a really close game. It’s a different sort of mentality and thought process at halftime.”

Hannibal finished 12-for-26 from the charity stripe.

Abby Baumann knocked down a baseline jumper to open the second half, once again pulling the Lady Pirates to within six points.

Moberly then put the game out of reach with a 14-2 run over the next 3:56. 

“We did a pretty good job of closing the gap and then they started to light it up again,” Jamerson explained. “When you spend as much energy as we did in the first half to stay in the game, it’s just too tough to make it happen again and make it all the way back.”

Karrlana Koenig drained two 3-pointers in the middle of the run and added two more in the fourth quarter to finish with a game-high 24 points.

The Lady Spartans sharpshooter connected on six triples for the game.

“She is really playing well at the right time for them,” Jamerson said of Koenig. “And (Sydney) Flood had a quiet night with 15 points for them, due to foul trouble. But they make it really tough to defend those kind of girls.”

Falconer led the Lady Pirates with 13 points.

“Tonight she did a nice job of flipping the switch for attack mode,” the Lady Pirates coach said of Falconer. “That is what we need from her the rest of the season.”

Mariah Strong came off the bench and added five points and a game-high 11 boards in the loss.

“She is doing a really nice job of coming off the bench and providing a spark for us,” Jamerson said of his senior reserve player. “That is why she played most of the second half because she has earned those minutes.”

The loss drops Hannibal to 6-13 on the season.