The top-seeded Pilot Grove girls and the No. 2 Bunceton Lady Dragons left little doubt last night in the semifinal round of the Class 1 District 8 Tournament at Hughesville.
For the Lady Tigers, they defeated the host team by a score of 68-43 behind the 20-point effort of juniors Kerigan Wessing and Melissa Schlotzhauer.
As for the Bunceton Lady Dragons, they had four players in double figures while turning back conference-rival Otterville 65-40.
Pilot Grove and Bunceton, who won on each others home floor this season, will meet again for the district championship on Saturday, March 1 starting at 1 p.m.
Tournament action, meanwhile, will continue on the boys side of the bracket tonight with the No. 1 Pilot Grove Tigers battling fourth-seeded Northwest at 6, followed by No. 2 Leeton versus No. 6 Kingsville at 7:30.
Pilot Grove girls coach Landon Daniel said the girls have worked hard all season and now get the chance to play for a district title. “I am very proud of them for their work and determination to get to this point,” Daniel said. “The game tonight did not have much flow to it and had some sloppy moments, but the girls did what we had to do and finished very well in the second half. Melissa and Kerigan both had great games even after drawing another triangle and two on them and we also had Marissa Day come off the bench and have a very nice game offensively. Overall, a good win and looking forward to Saturday’s matchup for the district final.”
The Lady Tigers, who improved to 19-8 overall, definitely left it all out on the floor against Northwest and led 20-10 after one, 35-23 at the half and 52-30 after three quarters of play. Pilot Grove also outscored Northwest 16-13 in the final period.
As for the scoring, Wessing also had 11 rebounds, eight steals and four assists to go along with her 20 points. Schlotzhauer, meanwhile, added six rebounds, three assists and one steal to match Wessing with 20.
Marissa Day finished the game with 10 points, one rebound and one steal while McKalie Lorenz added seven points, seven rebounds, three blocked shots and one assist, McKenzi Schuster with five points, six assists and five rebounds, Cynthia Brumback with four points, five rebounds and two steals, MaKenzie Twenter with two points, Rachel Lorenz with three rebounds, two assists, one steal and one blocked shot, Karsyn Kraus with two rebounds, one assist and one steal and Katelyn Renfro with one rebound.
The Lady Tigers also closed out the game hitting 28 of 64 shots from the field for 44 percent and 11 of 19 from the foul line for 58 percent.
Northwest was led by Kendall Walk with 13 and Alyssa Durrill with 12.
For Bunceton, they struggled out of the gates against Otterville while leading by only six (14-8) after first period’s end. But after that, the Lady Dragons dominated Otterville in all facets of the game while leading 37-18 at the half and 51-31 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile, in the final period, Bunceton outscored the Lady Eagles 14-9 for the victory.
Bunceton coach Mike Arnold said the girls played tired and very sluggish. “If we come out like that against Pilot Grove it will be a long night,” Arnold said. “We didn’t guard or rebound. We forgot to have fun.”
Senior Rachel Emde appeared to be having fun while tossing in a game-high 35 points along with eight rebounds, two steals and two assists.
Sam Brandes finished the game with a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds along with five steals and four assists. Maddy Berwanger had 10 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals while Deanne Emde added two points, five steals, three rebounds and one assist, Lizzy Maddex with two points, four steals, four assists and two rebounds and Aubrey Scott with one point and one rebound.
The Lady Dragons also hit on 31 of 55 shots from the field for 56 percent but were only 1 of 10 from the foul line for 10 percent.
Otterville was led by Stephanie Oswald with 15 points.