Less than 72 hours separate the end of football and the start of basketball for the Hannibal Pirates as they open the 2018-2019 season Tuesday night at Bowling Green.

We’ll have the play by play of the opener on KHMO and here on khmoradio.com. Several members of the Pirate football team also play key roles on Marty Hull’s basketball team. Pirate football players Dezi Jones, Adreke Brumbaugh, Preston Bennett and Danny Colborn were important parts of last season’s 15-11 Pirate basketball team. Gabe Worthington and Wil Whitaker are also on the varsity basketball team. Their football season ended late Saturday afternoon with the loss to MICDS in the Class 4 quarterfinals.  With that, it's on to basketball, wresltling, baseball, track or the weight room.

For those who also play basketball, there is a fast adjustment. Sometimes, the adjustment from football to basketball takes a while, sometimes it doesn’t. I learned long ago that it is best to wait until January to assess basketball teams in northeast Missouri—especially with schools that also play football. The 1998 Palmyra boys 2A state champion team didn’t settle in until January. Last year’s Monroe City boys team was rolling by Monroe City Tournament time in December after winning the Class 1 title. One of the Jeff City teams I covered in the late 80’s was just over .500 in early January. They didn’t lose again until the 4A semis at the Hearnes Center in late March.

Part of the fun of this job is watching teams ‘get it’ as the season goes along. It’s a good bet that this edition of the basketball Pirates will get it. Of course it helps to have a guy like Dezi Jones. Dezi set a single game scoring record against Marshall last year with 47 points. He also set the single season scoring record at 27 points per game. Preston Bennett turned in a lot of good minutes a year ago. Adreke Brumbaugh brought a lot of energy as a sophomore. He always seemed to be in the middle of the action in the Pirate games I saw.

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