HANNIBAL -- Hannibal seniors Nora Hark and Kyliah French have been through the good times and the bad times.
They were both recognized during senior night on Friday at Korf Gymnasium, and helped Hannibal come away with a 53-26 thumping over North Central Missouri Conference foe Fulton.
Both Hark and French grinded through a pair of tough seasons during their sophomore and junior campaigns, and have been rewarded with a big turnaround for their senior year.
"I thanked them for being really important cornerstones," said Hannibal head coach Shawn Gaines. "They came in when I came in as an assistant. They were on my very first freshman team. They mean a lot because they stuck it out through some real bad times."
It was Hannibal's fourth win in a row.
"It's cool," Gaines said. "The biggest thing that I was thinking about is we now have tied the win record of the 2019-20 season (with 17 wins), so that's huge. That was a really good basketball team."
Both seniors made a big impact during Friday's game.
French scored a team-high 12 points and four boards, while Hark came away with 10 points and three boards.
"You can look back to the Palmyra game, if Kyliah does not knock down those shots we are not in the game," Gaines said. "Kyliah kept us in the game and Nora's aggressiveness was there for the very last close out, which forced a tough shot. They give us really big minutes. Each one of them were a big part of our success."
Hannibal sophomore Mariah Mayfield added 11 points and three boards.
Shots were not falling early, with both teams struggling to score. Hannibal would take a 11-6 lead by the end of the first quarter with the help of five points each from Hark and Mayfield.
Hannibal sophomore Aubrielle Krigbaum brought a boost off the bench, scoring six of the Lady Pirates' 12 points in the second quarter.
By halftime, Hannibal took a 23-11 lead over Fulton as defense dominated during the first half.
French had a strong third quarter, draining two 3-pointers and totaling 10 points.
Hannibal's defense continued to stifle Fulton, limiting the Lady Hornets to just eight points during the third quarter.
"(Fulton) scored 38 points the last time, so we improved," Gaines said. "Obviously last game wasn't a real big defensive effort, but I'm glad we shored it up tonight and had a good night."
Hannibal would enter the fourth quarter with a commanding 42-19 lead.
Fulton guard Kier Henderson scored a team-high nine points and had three rebounds.
Hannibal (17-7, 6-3) will play at Mexico (9-15) in its next game at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The Lady Pirates will then close out the regular season on Wednesday, playing a road game against Battle (17-6) at 7 p.m.
"We got Mexico up next and we got a real tough one against Columbia, which should be good for us heading into the playoffs," Gaines said. "I'm looking forward to both of those games and looking to close out with confidence with a win."
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