HANNIBAL — The Hannibal boys basketball team lived and died with the three-pointer during Friday’s game against Fulton at Korf Gymnasium.
It worked early on, but Fulton powered its way to a 60-47 win behind a clutch fourth quarter where the Hornets held the Pirates to just five points.
“I told the boys we are a three-point shooting team,” said Hannibal head coach Marty Hull. “When we were getting open three’s, we were getting good shots. At times, we hurried but that’s us. We are going to live and die by it.”
Still, Hull feels like Hannibal played well during most of Friday’s game.
“We executed and we did what we wanted to do defensively and offensively,” Hull said. “We did everything we wanted to do to win. I told the guys we would have to play a really good game to beat them.”
Hannibal’s three-point shooting was effective early on, with the Pirates draining five three-pointers in the first quarter. That led to Hannibal having a 21-13 lead after a quarter of play.
The success behind the arc would not carry over to the second quarter, as the Pirates missed all of their three-point attempts and only managed eight points for the quarter.
Late in the second quarter, Fulton sophomore Walker Gohring hit a bucket to narrow Hannibal’s lead to just one point. Hannibal would enter halftime clinging to a 29-28 lead.
There were four lead changes in the third quarter. Gohring scored nine points in the third quarter to help Fulton gain a 45-42 lead by the quarter’s end.
Early in the fourth quarter, Hannibal junior guard Aaris Stolte hit a three-pointer to give the Pirates a 47-45 lead. That would be the last time Hannibal would have the lead as the Pirates only managed two more points for entire final quarter.
Hull said Hannibal did not have fresh legs in the fourth quarter and they struggled with their shooting.
“Give Fulton credit, too,” Hull said. “They made some adjustments and guarded us a little better. Thye made the shots more contested and maybe a little bit deeper than our comfort level.”
Fulton sophomore Colby Lancaster hit some key shots to get the lead back for the Hornets. He led Fulton in scoring with 16 points and pulled down a team-high nine rebounds for the game.
Fulton had three other double-digit scorers. Gohring was second on Fulton with 15 points, sophomore Josh Reams added 12 points and sophomore Courtland Simmons scored 10 points.
“If we get beat with Lancaster scoring 15 to 20, so be it,” Hull said. “I didn’t want to give up a lot of three’s to Walker Gohring or Courtland Simmons. I thought we did a good job of making them go to the hole for the most part. They only had three three’s.”
Stolte led Hannibal with 15 points. Senior guard Tristen Terrill added 12 points and pulled down five rebounds. Sophomore forward Haden Robertson pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.
Hannibal (8-11) will host Marshall (3-7) in its next game on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
“We will come in a little bit early and just watch film,” Hull said. “We already played Marshall once, so it will be pretty brief, just because these kids are intelligent kids. They know and they remember the games better than I do.”