The Hannibal Pirates were held to a season-low offensive output Friday night by the Borgia Knights, who won 50-39 to capture the Class 4 District 8 title in Korf Gym.
"They (Pirates) are a well coached team and a very talented team. We were fortunate to come out with the win," said Borgia Coach Dave Neier.
Hannibal outscored Borgia 18-8 over the final 4:30 of the first quarter to lead 21-15 at the quarter break.
Capping the Pirates' first period scoring was a long 3-pointer in the final seconds by Dezi Jones, who scored 14 points in the first eight minutes.
"You have a kid like Dezi Jones who is so good, it really makes it tough to guard him," Neier said. "I think he surprised our kids with how quick he was that first quarter."
After leading 21-15 after the opening quarter things became a lot more challenging offensively after that for Jones and the Pirates.
"I think we did a pretty good job of limiting him (Jones) and limiting their offense, especially after the first quarter," Neier said. "After the first quarter we made a few adjustments and were able to hold them to 18 points the final three quarters. That was a big difference because we didn't score a ton of points."
"Give all the credit to Borgia. They did a heckuva job of adjusting their defense to make it (scoring) harder," said Hannibal Coach Marty Hull. "They did a good job going from a 2-3 zone to a 1-2-2. Wherever he (Jones) cut there was a body hitting him, making sure it was hard for him to get the ball.
"I probably didn't do as good a job of adjusting as I should have."
Hannibal went to the locker room at halftime clinging to a 27-25 lead. That lead would disappear in the opening minutes of the third quarter as Borgia scored the first six points of the final half.
Hannibal would hang close through the third period and into the fourth. A steal and layup by Jones at 4:46 of the fourth got Hannibal within two, 40-38. But over the final 3 1/2 minutes the Knights outscored the Pirates 10-1 to seal the win. Eight of those points came from the free-throw line where the Knights were eight of 11 in the fourth quarter. Hannibal was just two of seven in the fourth quarter from the line.
Hannibal winds up with an 18-5 record.
"It was a really great season," Hull said, who praised the senior members of the team, particularly those who had not come out for the team as juniors. "We played a lot of good games."