CENTRALIA — The No. 6 seed Thunderbirds shaved an 18-point deficit to one with about 4 minutes left before fatigue intervened in Tuesday night's first-round loss to the No. 3 Pirates at the 63rd-annual Centralia Invitational Tournament.
North Callaway (0-2) was down 17-12 after one quarter and Boonville outscored the Thunderbirds 21-13 in the second quarter to go up 38-25 at halftime. North Callaway edged the Pirates 19-17 in the third quarter and trailed 55-44 going into the fourth quarter.
Senior guard Khobi Kellerman posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds to direct four players in double figures for the Thunderbirds. Junior guard Gabe Cash hit three 3-pointers in finishing with 13 points and handed out five assists.
Senior guard Andrew Locastro — who also had three 3s — and sophomore guard Cody Cash chipped in with 11 points apiece.
"The kids played hard, but we used a lot of energy (in fourth-quarter rally) and just wore out at the end," North Callaway head coach Matt Miller said.
Charlie Bronakowski countered with a game-high 18 points to lead four players in double figures for Boonville (2-2). Clayton Gochenour — who connected on three 3s — provided 13 points, DJ Wesolak tallied 11 and Tramell Coleman contributed 10.
The Thunderbirds meet No. 7 seed Harrisburg in the consolation semifinals at 9 tonight. Harrisburg was humbled by No. 2 seed Hallsville 64-30 in first-round play Tuesday night.