Branson High School’s Battle at the Border took place over the weekend.
Branson hosted teams from Bolivar, Mountain Home and Lake Hamilton. Battle at the Border is different from other tournaments in the area, as the schedule is planned ahead of time and there is no bracket. It’s also different in the fact that both the boys’ and girls’ team play.
Battle at the Border started Thursday evening and ran until Saturday.
On the first night of the tournament, the Lady Pirates and Pirates each played Lake Hamilton. The Lady Pirates ended up with a 49-37 loss, and the Pirates dropped their game 42-35.
On the second night, the teams each faced Bolivar. The Lady Pirates fell 63-36 and the Pirates fell 75-55.
On the third and final day of the tournament, the teams each faced Mountain Home. Neither team was able to come out with a win, as the Lady Pirates lost 52-35 and the Pirates lost 54-48.
The boys’ head coach, Mike Linehan, said they played two close games on the first night and the last. In each of the games, the Pirates led in the fourth quarter.
“It was one of those things where we couldn’t finish it out,” Linehan said. “I thought our kids played really hard, but late in the game we missed a couple of crucial shots and had a couple of costly turnovers.”
He said part of the reason for the team’s troubles lies in the fact that they graduated four seniors last season, and they’re still fairly early into the season. Right now, he said the team has a good mix of young kids who are getting experience.
“We’re trying to gain valuable experience,” Linehan said. “Sometimes that means getting a bump or bruise along the way, making a mistake and that’s what happened.”
He said despite the losses, his team still battled.
“They kept great attitudes and showed great character and weren’t pointing fingers at each other after the games,” Linehan said. “We talked about what we could do better, so I’m very pleased with the character of the kids and their attitude and their effort.”