The Pilot Grove girls junior high basketball team advanced to the championship in the Prairie Home Tournament last night by beating the Russellville Indians 31-18.
In other games last night in the tournament, the New Franklin girls defeated Jamestown 31-8; the Pilot Grove boys lost to Russellville 35-15; and Jamestown boys defeated New Franklin’s No. 2 team 45-18.
Tournament action will continue on Saturday, with the Otterville girls playing New Franklin’s seventh grade in the consolation game at 9:30 a.m., followed by the Prairie Home boys versus Russellville for consolation at 10:45, New Franklin girls eighth grade team versus Russellville for third place at 12 noon; Otterville boys versus New Franklin’s seventh grade for third place at 1:15, Prairie Home girls versus Pilot Grove for first place at 2:30 and New Franklin boys eighth grade team versus Jamestown at 3:45.
The Pilot Grove Lady Tigers, 2-1 on the season, outscored Russellville in three out of the four quarters of play and led 19-11 at the half and 31-11 after three quarters of play.
Pilot Grove coach Landon Daniel said the girls played a heck of a game for their second-round matchup against Russellville. “We had a game plan of keeping the taller Russellville team out of the paint and forcing them to shoot from the outside and then boxing out to get every rebound, and the girls executed. Every girl on the team stepped up and got better this game, whether it was playing better defense, making a better pass, or boxing out, they all did very well and I’m very proud of them.”
Reagan Walker tossed in 14 points to lead Pilot Grove. Cathlynn Hardt had nine points while Sasha Moore and Madison Kempf chipped in four points each.
For Russellville, McKendra Fischer had 10 points.
As for the New Franklin girls, they led Jamestown 17-2 at the half and 27-6 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile, in the final period, the Lady Bulldogs held a 4-2 advantage to win the game by 23.
Kacie White had the game-high for New Franklin with 16 points while Grace Hundley added six, Lilly Oser three and Sydney Dowell, Katie Dobson and Bailey Young each with two.
For Jamestown, Aleigh Monroe had six points.
The Russellville boys also led Pilot Grove from start to finish. After taking a 23-5 lead at the half, the Indians came back and outscored the Tigers 12-10 in the final-two periods for the victory.
Beau Bryant led the scoring attack in the game for Russellville with 14 points while Cody Willingham and Dylan Henderson added eight points each.
For Pilot Grove, Cole Mize had 10, Robert Vollmer and Preston Shepherd two points each and Garrett Streit with one.
In the final game, the Jamestown boys opened the first half with a 29-6 lead against New Franklin and then outscored the Bulldogs’ seventh grade team 16-12 in the final-two periods for the victory.
New Franklin coach Jim Schlotzhauer said the boys could not handle Jamestown’s press. “Our kids learned a lot of ways to not attack a press,” Schlotzhauer said. “However, it was a good experience that we will learn from in order to improve.”
Garrett Wolfe had 16 points and Trenton Barbour 10 for Jamestown.
For New Franklin, Bailey Lyons had six, Mason Bailey four and Kole Felten and Gordon Starke each with two points.