Hannibal to face Saint Francis Borgia in district finals

Some small adjustments can make a big difference in the outcome of a basketball game. They did Tuesday night in Hannibal's 61-47 district semifinal win over the Kirksville Tigers in Korf gymnasium.
After going into the locker room at halftime down by one, 22-21, HHS Coach Marty Hull made some changes. However, when the adjustments weren't executed properly Hull called a timeout at 6:38 of the third quarter.
"We had diagrammed a play at halftime. We wanted to make some changes to give Dezi (Jones) some room to operate. One of the players didn't run it right so I called a timeout and chewed on him a little bit," Hull said. "When we started running the play correctly Dezi started penetrating and we got more open shots. It worked a lot better in the second half when we made that small adjustment."
Jones, who had 10 points at the half, was all but unstoppable in the third quarter when he scored 15 of his 33 points.
Aside from the adjustment he implemented at halftime, Hull credited Jones' second-half outburst to simply relaxing.
"I think he was just so fired up and wanted it so bad and to play so well I think he had to loosen up and get into the flow of the game and just be himself," he said. "The shots he was making in the second half he missed in the first. There wasn't a whole lot of difference (in the second half) besides he was just more relaxed."
Led by Jones' 23 second-half points, Hannibal outscored Kirksville 40-25 over the final two quarters.
As the Pirates' lead grew they dictated the flow of play.
"We really spread them out," Hull said. "We had the lead so they had to come get us. Our guards were attacking and doing a good job of finishing layups."
Also reaching double figures for Hannibal were Adreke Brumbaugh and Will Whitaker. They had 10 points apiece.
"I think everybody stepped up and played well," Hull said.
The top-seeded Pirates, 18-4, will battle the second-seeded Saint Francis Borgia Knights, 15-11, for the district crown at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Korf gym.
Borgia earned the right to face Hannibal by defeating third-seeded Moberly 64-55 in Tuesday's other boys semifinal.

danny.henley@courierpost.com