If you take away the second and fourth quarter last night against Drexel, the Pilot Grove boys basketball team outscores the Bobcats 28-21 in last night’s Class 1 Sectional game at Harrisonville High School.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, they had two count the other two periods in Drexel held a 46-20 advantage for a 67-48 victory.
While the loss dropped Pilot Grove to 23-7 on the season, head coach Rick Grunden said between the snowstorm and power outages there were times this week they wondered if they would get to play this game.
“We knew we would have a lot to deal with in taking on the #1 team in the state,” Grunden said. “Drexel is quick and very determined. During this game we never could stay in our flow for too long. We didn't take care of the ball as well as I had hoped we would. However, I sincerely believe that Drexel did not think for a minute that we could play with them. In fact, I know they looked past us. We stayed right there with them for the majority of the game. We even cut the lead to four with 6:00 left to play. The bottom line was that they went on one more scoring run than we did right around the 4:00 mark. We had to start fouling and they extended the lead.”
The Tigers definitely had upset on their mind after playing Drexel to a 11-11 tie in the first period. However, it was pretty much all Drexel after that while leading 32-21 at the break and 42-38 after three quarters of play. While Pilot Grove climbed back into the ballgame in the third period with a 17-10 advantage, they were no match for the Bobcats in the final period while being outscored 25-10.
Javyn Johnston had 25 points and CJ Bolton 20 for Drexel, 28-1 on the season.
For Pilot Grove, Mason Schlotzhauer had 13, Kendall Kraus 10, Colton Glenn nine, Jake Leverton eight, Dylan Twenter seven and Adam Newell with one.
Grunden said he can’t say enough how proud he is of this team.
“We surpassed so many people's expectations this year,” Grunden said. “A conference championship, a 20-plus win season and a district championship is nothing to hang our heads about. The hardest part is to let go of our seniors. We are successful at Pilot Grove because we have good kids with good parents. The community dedicated themselves this week to getting behind us. There were signs all over town and on the highway to encourage us along the way, they decorated our lockers and gave us goody bags, and they bought district championship t-shirts. On our way out of town, there were three different gathering spots along the highway where our fans held signs and cheered us. It was fantastic and I know will be a lasting memory for our kids.”
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