Emma Sleeper had 16 points and Mari Lammers tossed in 13 to lead the Pilot Grove girls junior high basketball team past Bunceton Tuesday night in the Prairie Home Tournament.
The Lady Tigers, 2-0 on the season, trailed Bunceton 5-3 after first period’s end before outscoring the Lady Dragons 40-13 for the rest of the game.
Pilot Grove coach Linda Scott said her girls are playing teams that have several games already this season so everything is new to them each night out. “We are young and learning new positions for the first time in a game,” Scott said. “But everyone on the team is taking shots and scoring. We finally got to running the floor last night but just did not hit our shots in the first half. We rebounded well all game. Defensively we are playing very well as a team. We came back with a great second half. These girls need playing time together and will only get better as the season goes on.”
Lauren Krumm and Grace Peterson each had four points in the game for Pilot Grove while Claria Mae Roth added three, Kaitlyn Maggard with two and Ava Hoff with one.
For Bunceton, Laney Heilman tossed in 13 points.
In other games on Tuesday, the Pilot Grove boys turned back Bunceton 48-10 while the New Franklin B boys and girls fell to St. Andrews of Tipton by the scores of 32-24 and 41-19, respectively.
Tournament action will continue tonight, with St. Andrews girls playing Tuscumbia at 5 p.m., followed by Prairie Home girls versus Bunceton at 6, Prairie Home boys versus Jamestown at 7 and Bunceton boys versus New Franklin’s B team at 8. On Thursday, Jamestown girls will take on Pilot Grove at 6 p.m., followed by New Franklin boys versus Tuscumbia at 7 and Pilot Grove boys versus Tuscumbia at 8.
As for the Pilot Grove boys, they led Bunceton 19-2 after first period’s end and 31-5 at the half and then outscored the Dragons 17-5 in the second half.
Pilot Grove coach Derek Skaggs said the boys played exceptional defense, which allowed them to get easy transition baskets early in the game. “It is always nice when all of our guys can get into the scorebook as well,” Skagg said. “Overall, I was extremely pleased. They showed great character on the court tonight and represented our community in a positive manner.”
Hayden Sleeper and Ian Sprick tied for the game-high for Pilot Grove, who improved to 2-0, with 12 points. Logan Goehman and Maddex Douglas tossed in eight points each while Jesse Dillon added four, Hank Zeller and Alec Schupp each with three and Tate Rentel, Jefferson Day and Blake Gerke each with two.
For Bunceton, Luke Poulsen had seven, Mason Frieling two and Ben Wieland with one point.
For the New Franklin B-team boys, they trailed St. Andrews 14-7 at the half before rallying back with a 12-5 advantage in the third quarter to tie the game at 19-all. However in the final period, St. Andrews outscored New Franklin 12-5 to win by seven.
New Franklin coach Jim Schlotzhauer said the boys competed very hard against St. Andrews. “I thought the boys did very well in our zone at keeping the ball out of the middle and rebounding well,” Schlotzhauer said. “We had some trouble taking care of the ball against St. Andrews when they pressured us. We had a great third quarter moving the ball, but had a few turnovers down that stretch that let them seal the game up.”
Drake Clark had 11 points, Dylan Wells eight and Sven Wilson five for New Franklin’s B-team, 0-1 on the season.
As for the New Franklin girls, they trailed St. Andrews by only four (17-13) at the break but were outscored 24-6 in the second half.
New Franklin coach Morgan Vetter said this was a tough loss against a talented team. "Our girls showed mental toughness in the second quarter and first half but we ran out of gas in the second. Still proud of the effort and heart I saw," Vetter said.
Class had 18 and Brady 10 to lead St. Andrews.
For New Franklin, who dropped to 1-1, Carly Dorson tossed in 11 points while Faith Painter added five and Addy Salmon three.