The Pilot Grove boys basketball team captured another conference championship Tuesday night by beating the Jamestown Eagles on the road by a score of 64-48.
The Tigers, improving to 19-6 overall and 5-0 in the CCAA conference, have now won six conference titles in the last seven years.
Of course the game Tuesday night didn’t exactly start the way the Tigers wanted it to, as they trailed Jamestown 15-12 after first period’s end. However, after outscoring the Eagles 16-9 in the second quarter to lead by a score of 28-24 at the break, Pilot Grove came out and held a 36-24 advantage in the final-two periods for the victory.
Pilot Grove coach Rick Grunden said despite a slow start the Tigers were able to pull off a conference win at Jamestown.
“I don’t know what special ingredient is in the water at Jamestown that makes them able to have kids who are so lanky, but I would like to steal some if it,” Grunden said. “They use their bodies very well and they have their arms all over the place. We made some adjustments offensively after the first quarter and we were finally able to start converting better. Freshmen Mason Schlotzhauer played well for us both offensively and defensively. He really worked hard, and gave us a lot of momentum when needed.
“When we executed our offense correctly it created some very nice looks for everyone. Colton Glenn had some excellent passes that helped us get out in front some. Everyone shined at one point or another defensively. We need to work harder on reading the game quicker and taking advantage of our opponents when their guard is down. We will finish out both regular season and conference play on Friday night when we take on Bunceton.”
Mason Schlotzhauer burned the nets for a game-high 32 points to lead all scorers for Pilot Grove.
Colton Glenn chipped in 10 while Kendall Kraus added nine, Dylan Twenter seven and Jake Leverton and Regan Meisenheimer each with three.
For Jamestown, Andy Thompson had 14.
As for the Pilot Grove girls, coach Landon Daniel knew his team had it in them to beat the Jamestown Lady Eagles. It was just a matter of putting four quarters together at one time.
As it turned out, the Lady Tigers played perhaps their best game of the season from start to finish while beating Jamestown by 10, 71-61.
The Lady Tigers, improving to 9-14 overall and 4-1 in the CCAA conference, outscored Jamestown in three out of the four quarters of play and led 16-10 after one, 34-24 at the half and 49-34 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile, in the final period, Jamestown rallied back with a 27-22 advantage to cut the lead back to 10.
Page 2 of 2 - Pilot Grove coach Landon Daniel said it’s really exciting to see how much the girls have improved over the year.
“This was an exciting game from start to finish for us,” Daniel said. “We came into the game knowing that Jamestown really took it to us in the New Franklin Tournament and that Coach Hirschvogel would have his girls ready to go again, so we switched up defenses to put more pressure around the three point line and put us in better position to grab rebounds and it paid off. On offense we were able to use our height advantage and throw the ball over the top of their pressure and we hit shots. In each quarter we put a sizable run on Jamestown, getting them down 12 in the second, and then to end the third and start the fourth we went on a 20-4 run, and then we were able to hold off a late surge by Jamestown by hitting free throws in the fourth quarter, going a perfect 11 for 11 from the line. Another great team victory for us as all the girls played extremely well and another step in the right direction before district play.”
Kerigan Wessing led four players in double figures for Pilot Grove with 17 points. Kerigan also pulled down 18 rebounds for a double-double along with five assists and one blocked shot.
Melissa Schlotzhauer finished the game with 16 points and 12 rebounds along with five assists and two blocked shots while McKalie Lorenz added 13 points, three steals, two rebounds and one assist, McKenzi Schuster with 12 points, six rebounds and four assists, Cynthia Brumback with nine points, 15 rebounds, three assists and three steals and Katelyn Renfro with four points, eight rebounds and one assist.
For Jamestown, Mickayla Strother had 20, Lexi Muri 18 and Alli Muri with 13.