The Pilot Grove Tigers basketball team had several reasons for wanting to win Tuesday night’s game on the road against the Otterville Eagles.
Pilot Grove coach Rick Grunden said since the Eagles are the defending conference champions the players knew that in order to even contend for the CCAA title they had to take care of things on Otterville’s home floor.
Mission accomplished. Not only did the Tigers take care of business, winning by a score of 65-47, they also remained unbeaten in the CCAA at 3-0.
As for the Pilot Grove girls, they had a different outcome while trailing Otterville from the first quarter on while suffering a 30 point loss by a score of 67-37.
Although the Pilot Grove boys outscored Otterville in three out of the four quarters of play, the lead was only four (38-34) after the first 24 minutes. However, in the final period, the Tigers took control once again by outscoring the Eagles 27-13 to win by 18.
Pilot Grove also led by double digits in the first half after taking a 31-20 lead.
“I would term this game ‘Jekyll & Hyde’,” Grunden said.  “We played a good first half, then came out and gave them the first 10 points of the third quarter.  We were just flat.  At one point in the third quarter they were ahead 33-32 and we finished the quarter on a 6-1 run to make it 38-34 us.  At the start of the fourth quarter we got back the control we needed and really didn’t look back.  Freshman Mason Schlotzhauer had an impressive night with 29 points.  He did well shooting from everywhere on the court and made several very good defensive choices.   Senior Dylan Twenter was challenged and worked his tail off around the basket, dropping in 15.  Conference play will continue when we take on Prairie Home on Friday night for Homecoming.  We better be ready to play, as Prairie Home is a very dangerous team who is much improved since playing them earlier this year.”
Freshman Mason Schlotzhauer led the scoring attack in the game for Pilot Grove with 29 points. Dylan Twenter added 15, Kendall Kraus eight, Jake Leverton seven, Colton Glenn five and Regan Meisenheimer with one.
For Otterville, Ryan Benny and Jake Gaskell each had 14 points.
The loss dropped the Eagles to 13-7 overall and 2-1 in the conference.
As for the Pilot Grove girls, they struggled to say the least offensively while trailing Otterville 30-17 at the half and 48-25 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile, in the final period, the Lady Eagles outscored Pilot Grove 19-12.
Pilot Grove coach Landon Daniel said it was one of those shooting nights that you dread as a coach.
“We are a team that shoots the ball a ton in the game and we just did not hit anything tonight,” Daniel said. “The girls played hard and showed a lot of class which was something that was lacking throughout the game. We look to turn things around on Friday and continue to prepare for district play in a week and a half.”
Hannah Stone led three players in double figures for Otterville, 15-6 overall and 2-0 in CCAA action, with 28 points. Stephanie Oswald chipped in 17 points while Brittany Castle added 11 points.
For Pilot Grove, who dropped to 7-14 on the season, Kerigan Wessing had a double-double with 14 points and 16 rebounds along with three assists and one steal.
Melissa Schlotzhauer finished the game with seven points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal while McKalie Lorenz added seven points and one steal, McKenzi Schuster with three points, five rebounds and one assist, Allison Weekly with three points, one rebound and one blocked shot, Rachel Lorenz with two points, Cynthia Brumback with one point, seven rebounds, two assists and one steal, Katelyn Renfro with four rebounds and one steal and MaKenzie Twenter with one steal.
In girls junior varsity action, Otterville also won that game against the Lady Tigers 14-9.
MaKenzie Twenter had four  points in the game for Pilot Grove while Allison Weekly added three and Kayla Poulsen and Rachel Lorenz each with one point.