The Pilot Grove Tigers and Lady Tigers basketball team split a pair of games Friday night during Courtwarming against the Cairo Bearcats, with the boys winning 75-52 and the girls losing 67-55.
The Tigers, improving to 6-17 overall and 1-9 in the CAC, opened the first half with a 36-20 lead against Cairo and then outscored the Bearcats 39-32 in the second half.
Pilot Grove coach Derek Skaggs said he was proud of the kids’ performance on the court. “We played well at both ends of the floor and made many extra passes to get guys open looks at the rim,” Skaggs said. “This was the kind of momentum we were looking for and hope to keep going forward into districts. The guys jumped out on top early and never looked back.”
Brady Rentel led four players in double figures for Pilot Grove with 23 points. Cole Mize chipped in 19, Cole Meisenheimer 16, Steven Bell 10, Lucas Fahrendorf three and Parker Schuster and Anderson Twenter each with two points.
Cairo was led by Jacob Davis with 16 points.
As for the Pilot Grove girls, they trailed Cairo 18-10 at the half and 33-21 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile, in the final two periods, Pilot Grove matched Cairo with 34 points.
Pilot Grove coach Landon Daniel said it was a tale of two halves.
“We struggled in the first half with turnovers at really key times in the game and our defense was not rotating like it needed to be and we allowed Cairo to drive to the basket too easily,” Daniel said. “We really didn’t have a great start to the third quarter either but after a few timeouts and challenging the girls, they responded and we finished the game with one of our best halves of the year and played Cairo even for the half. That effort is what we need to take away from this game and build on it to get some confidence in all of our girls. Very proud of this team for continuing to work hard through this rough patch in our season.”
Emily Schupp had 19 points and 11 rebounds to finish the game with a double-double for Pilot Grove, who dropped to 10-12 overall and 2-8 in the CAC. Schupp also had two assists, two steals and one blocked shot.
Reagan Walker had nine points, four assists, four steals and two rebounds while Marissa Day added nine points, seven rebounds, one assist and one steal, Karsyn Kraus seven points, three rebounds, three assists and one steal, Chloe Schlotzhauer six points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals and Celine Dodson five points, four rebounds and four steals.
For Cairo, Monica Tray had 20 points, MacKenzie Dubbert 19 and Allison Keen with 10.