Along with the Pilot Grove Tigers basketball team winning last night against Northwest 75-46 in the semifinal round of the Class 1 District 8 Tournament in Hughesville, the Tigers also had one of their teammates reach a milestone for 1,000 points in his career.
Of course winning comes first as the Tigers advanced to the championship to face the Leeton Tigers Saturday at 3 p.m. Leeton, the No. 2 seed, beat sixth-seeded Chilhowee 58-17.
While the win improved Pilot Grove’s record to 22-5 on the season, head coach Derek Skaggs said he thought the boys came out and played a pretty solid first quarter.
“We couldn’t get things to go our way in the second and we really struggled to hit shots only having one field goal go down,” Skaggs said. “We talk about fighting through adversity and that was something we had to do in the first half. They responded when the pressure was one and shots weren’t fall. They turned to our defense to keep the edge and we were able to maintain a four-point lead going into half.
“After that things started clicking in the third quarter. Jake Leverton had a very solid quarter by hitting three-threes in a row to get us hot in the third quarter along with getting to the charity stripe. The great thing about this team is you can’t stop just one guy and if you try that another one will step up. They have really taken on the team concept and they will all tell you that not a one of them cares who gets the points because in the end we all will get the glory.”
As for the player achieving the 1,000-point mark, sophomore Mason Schlotzhauer, who sat all of the second quarter with three fouls, finally picked up accomplishment at the 2:55 mark in the third quarter on a three-point play to make it 42-29.
Of course prior to the third, the Tigers appeared to be well on their way while leading Northwest 21-14 after the first period.
However, with Schlotzhauer on the bench in the second quarter, Northwest rallied back with a 8-5 scoring edge while holding Pilot Grove to 1 of 12 from the field.
But even then the Tigers never relinquished the lead despite Northwest going on a 8-0 during during a two-minute stretch to cut it to two at 24-22.
Pilot Grove led 26-22 at the break and then turned it up offensively in the second half by outscoring Northwest 28-8 in the third, which included runs of 6, 7 and 13 points to lead 54-30.
Junior Jake Leverton also got hot in the third with 15 of the team’s 28 points, nine of which came behind the three-point arc.
Meanwhile, in the final period, Pilot Grove outscored Northwest 21-16 to win the game by 29.
Jake Leverton finished the game with 26 while Colton Glenn and Mason Schlotzhauer added 15 points each.
For Northwest, Cortlen Austin tossed in 16 points while Ryan Rafferty added 15.