It may not qualify as a Christmas miracle, but Hannibal High School's boys basketball team rallied from 11 down Thursday night in Korf Gym to knock off the Kirksville Tigers 63-56 in overtime.

It may not qualify as a Christmas miracle, but Hannibal High School's boys basketball team rallied from 11 down Thursday night in Korf Gym to knock off the Kirksville Tigers 63-56 in overtime.

"It was one of those gritty wins where it didn't matter how many points we were behind we just believed we could win and never quit playing hard," said Hannibal Coach Marty Hull.

The Pirates, who trailed by seven (30-23) at the half, sank to 11 down (34-23) during just over the first minute of play in the third quarter.

Hannibal closed out the third stanza with an 8-2 run to pull within five (40-35) entering the home stretch.

Hannibal set the stage for a comeback by allowing the Tigers just nine points in the fourth quarter.

"I thought the whole fourth quarter our defensive intensity was still high and it seemed that maybe Kirksville was getting just a little bit tired. It seemed like the momentum swung a little bit," Hull said.

The Pirates scored seven unanswered points in the final 50.2 seconds of regulation to tie the game at 49.

In overtime Adreke Brumbaugh scored Hannibal's first nine points to give the Pirates a lead they would not surrender.

"It was another great game by Adreke Brumbaugh. He had 28 while Dezi (Jones) had 27," Hall said. "Even on a bad shooting night, when Dezi didn't make a 3-point shot, it's nice to know we can win ugly and win gritty."

Hull called the win "huge" considering it was his team's final game before the holiday break.

"You never want to go into the Christmas break on a loss," he said. "We are carrying tons and tons of momentum into Christmas and the Warrenton tournament at the end of the month."

The Pirates are 7-2 and 4-0 in conference play.

 

danny.henley@courierpost.com