The Pilot Grove boys and girls basketball teams picked up the sweep Friday night in CCAA action at Pilot Grove by beating the Prairie Home Panthers by the scores of 61-41 and 61-48, respectively.
The Lady Tigers, 8-14 overall and 3-1 in the CCAA, outscored Prairie Home in three out of the four quarters of play and led 16-15 after one, 32-21 at the half and 45-36 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile, in the final period, Pilot Grove held a 16-12 advantage to win the game by 13.
Pilot Grove coach Landon Daniel said this was a huge TEAM victory.
“Our Homecoming game this year was against an improving Prairie Home team and our girls came out and played one of the better games we have played as a team all year,” Daniel said. “We pressured the ball all night and forced turnovers with our press that allowed from transition buckets on offense. Prairie Home did a great job of shutting down our regular offense and McKenzi Schuster, McKalie Lorenz and Cynthia Brumback had to step up and take care of the ball and hit shots which they did. If we cut down on turnovers, we could of really had a fantastic game, but all in all it was  a lot of fun and a great confidence booster heading into the rest of conference play and districts next week.”
Melissa Schlotzhauer led the Lady Tigers with 23 points along with seven rebounds, seven steals, three assists and one blocked shot.
McKalie Lorenz added 14 points, four rebounds and two blocked shots while McKenzi Schuster chipped in 10 points, six assists, four rebounds and one steal, Kerigan Wessing with six points, nine rebounds, nine steals, three blocked shots and two assists, Cynthia Brumback with six points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals, Katelyn Renfro with two points, five rebounds and one assist, Alexis Taylor with two rebounds and Rileigh Grunden with one steal.
Prairie Home coach Linda Scott said this was a tough loss for the Lady Panthers.
“We did everything we wanted on the defensive end,” Scott said.  “For the first time this year we allowed a press to control our game and Pilot Grove scored off our turnovers.  We played as hard as we have all year.  We had a good first quarter, but then their press took us out of our game. We got outscored 16-5 in the second.  We did come out in the third to battle back 34-30 only to have their press take over again.  We had 34 turnovers for the game.   Kendra Stinson had a great second half, scoring 16 of her 20 points.  Kendra has been playing well for us.  I ask her to step up in the second half and she did in a big way.   Our two freshmen post players had a big night on the broads with 20 rebounds.   Josie Flood really did a super job for us tonight. She truly stepped up big time when Makayla  went to the bench.  I was so proud of how well Josie played tonight.   We shot the ball pretty well, but we only had 47 attempts for the game.   We did so many good events tonight, but we have to play all four quarters if we want to win.”
Kendra Stinson finished the game with 20 points, two steals and one assist for Prairie Home, who dropped to 8-13 overall and 2-4 in the CCAA.
Makayla Zey added nine points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals while Katlynn Watson had seven points, three rebounds and two assists, Brooke Emmerich with six points, two rebounds and one assist, Josie Flood with five points, 10 rebounds, three steals and one assist, Krista Small with one point, two rebounds and one assist, Ally Small with three rebounds, one steal and one assist, Kim Hettinger with three rebounds and Amber Carmichael with one rebound.
Prairie Home also finished the game shooting 38 percent from the field and 64 percent from the foul line.
As for the Pilot Grove boys, they appeared to have a game of their hands while playing Prairie Home to a 8-8 tie after the first period. However it was pretty much all Pilot Grove after that while leading 25-14 at the half and 50-26 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile, in the final period, the Panthers held a 15-11 scoring edge.
Pilot Grove coach Rick Grunden said there was no doubt tonight that his team had some lag going on.  
“We could not get the lid off the basket in the first quarter and in the fourth quarter we just didn’t have muchups,” Grunden said. “I don’t know  if the Homecoming festivities wore on us or what exactly.  However, we did start hitting some shots and had some very productive deflections that turned into steals which allowed us to control the tempo of the game better.  We had several kids who were finding a way to score and that was a huge lift for us.  The hardest part of the night was seeing my four seniors walk off their home floor for the last time.  They are four great kids and I have so much hope for the rest of their season.  We will finish out our Homecoming festivities then prepare for a Jamestown team that is very dangerous.”
Kendall Kraus had the team-high for Pilot Grove, 18-6 overall and 4-0 in the CCAA, with 16 points. Mason Schlotzhauer chipped in 15 while Colton Glenn added 12, Jake Leverton nine, Dylan Twenter five and Adam Newell and Regan Meisenheimer each with two.
Prairie Home coach Jesse Oswald said his team did not bring their top game on either sides of the court.  
“Offensively we didn’t get a lot of high percentage shots and credit that to Pilot Grove’s tough defense,” Oswald said.  “They do a lot of things to make you adjust and play out of a comfort zone on offense and they did that tonight.  We made a lot of just awkward mistakes tonight.  On the defensive end we had a lot of mental breakdowns and were slow in closing out on shooters.  They move the ball really well and rarely waste a possession.  We have to find a way to dig deep against a team like Pilot Grove. Anytime you let them get into a rhythm, you have to find a way to stop them and switch things up.  We didn’t do that tonight.”
Rayce Kendrick paced all scorers in the game for Prairie Home, who dropped to 11-11 overall and 1-3 in the CCAA, with 17 points. Sam Distler chipped in 11 while Klay Holliday added four points, Jonathan Brandes three and Trever Huth, Kody Utterback and Chance Whitehurse each with two.