Pilot Grove coach Rick Grunden stated prior to taking the floor Friday night against Sweet Springs in the W-K Holiday Shootout at State Fair Community College that the Greyhounds would be a challenge for the Tigers.
Little did he know that Sweet Springs would be more than a challenge by handing the Tigers their first loss of the season by a score of 41-36.
The Pilot Grove girls also had a tough time against the Lady Greyhounds while losing by a score of 57-29.
Grunden said what he didn’t know was the biggest challenge for the Tigers would be their own ability to score. “You can’t expect to win if you don’t shoot well,” Grunden said. “The kids worked very hard defensively and never gave up in the game, we just kept falling short.”
The Tigers also found themselves behind at the end of each quarter as Sweet Springs led 15-13 after one, 24-21 at the half and 32-25 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile, in the final period, the Tigers rallied back with a 11-9 advantage.
Jacob Schowengerdt had 10 points and Jeffery Hall nine for Sweet Springs.
For Pilot Grove, who dropped to 6-1 on the season, Mason Schlotzhauer and Regan Meisenheimer each had nine points while Colton Glenn chipped in eight, Dylan Twenter five, Kendall Kraus three and Jake Leverton two.
As for the Pilot Grove girls, they faced an uphill battle from the opening tip off while trailing Sweet Springs 32-12 at the half and 40-25 after three quarters of play. The Lady Greyhounds also held a 17-4 advantage in the final period.
Pilot Grove coach Landon Daniel said this game was definitely a learning experience for the girls.
“We were down one starter with sickness so our freshman girls got to get a lot more playing time than usual,” Daniel said. “We came out pretty flat and got into some really early foul trouble that hurt us. At halftime we gave the green light to shoot for all the girls and in the third quarter they responded but Sweet Springs hurt us with their size inside and our lack of physical play, scoring on offensive rebounds pretty much all night. We have a lot to work on and with three varsity games next week and two JV games, we will have the opportunities we need to get better.”
Nicole Bright led three players in double figures for Sweet Springs with 21 points while Christina Higgins had 15 and Ashleigh Bright with 10.
For Pilot Grove, who dropped to 3-4 on the season, McKenzi Schuster led all scorers with 14 points along with two rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Kerigan Wessing finished the game with a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds along with two assists, two steals and one blocked shot. Katelyn Renfro chipped in three points, five rebounds and one steal while Cynthia Brumback added one point, four rebounds, three assists and two steals, McKalie Lorenz with one point, three rebounds and one assist, Rachel Lorenz with one rebound and Allison Weekly with one steal.