The Pilot Grove boys basketball team couldn’t have picked a better time to win its second game of the season Friday night on the road against the Cairo Bearcats 68-65.
While the Tigers have been close in numerous games this season, they finally put it all together against Cairo while rallying in the second half of the win.
Of course it didn’t look good early on Pilot Grove, as they trailed 21-13 after one and 40-33 at the half. However, in the third quarter, Pilot Grove rallied back with a 18-12 advantage to cut the lead to one at 52-51. Then, in the final period, the Tigers outscored Cairo 17-13 to win the by three.
Pilot Grove coach Derek Skaggs said he is proud of all the guys.
“We have been fighting all year and losing some close games by not being able to close a fourth quarter,” Skaggs said. “Tonight, we were able to pull out a big win by finishing that fourth quarter off at the line. This win is great for our team as we enter our last week before district play. Our younger guys played strong as usual and two of our seniors, Cole Mize and Anderson Twenter, both had some big baskets when things were tight in the game. We struggled at the free throw line early, but in the end that is what won the game for us. We close out the last week of regular season with New Franklin, Slater and a Cairo rematch. Hopefully we can continue to find momentum going into district play. These guys don’t quit and that has been the best thing about us all season.”
Bailey Quint led three players in double figures for Pilot Grove, who improved to 2-20, with 25 points. Cole Meisenheimer finished the game with 15 while Gavin Shepherd added 12, Cole Mize eight, Anderson Twenter six and Lucas Fahrendorf with two.
For Cairo, Alex Prather had 21 and Jacob Davis with 20.
Cairo (G) 54
Pilot Grove 32
The Cairo girls outscored Pilot Grove in all four quarters Friday night in CAC action at Cairo.
The Lady Tigers, dropping to 12-10 overall and 2-7 in the CAC, trailed Cairo 16-6 after one, 35-21 at the half and 47-27 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile, in the final period, Cairo outscored Pilot Grove 7-5.
Pilot Grove coach Landon Daniel said not the best effort by any means.
“We just didn’t bring our game with us to Cairo,” Daniel said. “Their defensive pressure caused us to turn the ball over early and we just dug ourselves in too big of a hole to come out of and we just flat out did not play well. All that being said, we had some runs and really it could have been much worse than what it was. We will play better and the best thing we take out of this game is that we know and acknowledge that we didn’t coach well, play well, or execute well and we know that we are a better team than what we showed and we will show that this last week of the season and get ready for district play.”
Dubbert had 18 points and  Ryan 17 for Cairo.
For Pilot Grove, Chloe Schlotzhauer finished the game with a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds along with one steal and one blocked shot.
Emily Schupp chipped in seven points, six rebounds, one assist, one steal and one blocked shot while Reagan Walker added six points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals and one blocked shot, Abby Schupp four points, two assists and one rebound, Kaitlen Weekley two points, two steals and one assist, Reagan McFatrich and Natalie Rentel each with three rebounds and Aryn Lorenz with one rebound, one assist and one steal.