As the fourth ranked team in the state and 236th nationally according to maxpreps.com, the Hallsville varsity boys basketball team is 5-0 overall and the definite favorite to win the tournament currently taking place at Centralia.

On Thursday in the second round of that tourney it was North Callaway's turn to try and derail the Indians, and what followed was a back-and-forth affair that saw Hallsville lead dwindle to just a point before time forced them to the free throw line. That's where the game was decidedbecause the Indians hit their shots down the stretch to defeat the Thunderbirds 67-58.

"We did an exceleent job executing our game plan," said coach Matthias Miller. "We gave them everything we had."

This game was actually a rematch from Dec. 1 that North Callaway lost at home 81-65. The closest this matchup got was in the third quarter when the Thunderbirds went on a 23-10 run after getting outscored 16-10 in the first and 19-11 in the second to go into halftime down 35-21. Hallsville then charted 10 of the games next 12 points and outscored North Callaway 22-14 in the fourth to win by nine.

Conducting this offensive orchestra for the Thunderbirds was Coy Danison with a team-high 14 points, Tanner Pezold and Gabe Cash had 13 points each and Khobe Kellerman added four assists.

For the Indians, Ethan Thompson managed a game-high 17 points, Luke Hicks chipped in with 13 points and Graham Mosier was good for 12 points.

North Callaway, 1-3 overall, and Hallsville both played next on Saturday in the final round of this event.