Pilot Grove boys fall to Marshall, 67-60

Pilot Grove’s Kerigan Wessing and Melissa Schlotzhauer more than did their part Friday night in the seventh-place game in the Wildcat Classic in Slater.
Playing the Fayette Lady Falcons for the final spot in the tournament, Wessing and Schuster combined for 54 of the team’s 66 points for a 66-54 victory.
While finishing seventh in the tournament, the Lady Tigers also won for only the fifth time this season in 17 ballgames.
Nonetheless, Pilot Grove played perhaps its best ballgame of the season while leading Fayette 13-9 after one, 33-27 at the half and 55-39 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile, with a 24 point lead going into the final period, the Lady Tigers put it on cruise while allowing Fayette to rally back with a 14-11 advantage.
Pilot Grove coach Landon Daniel said it finally their night.
“The girls really wanted a win out of this tournament and they worked hard and earned it to get seventh place,” Daniel said. “We started a little slow going 2 for 9 from the field but then hit three field goals in a row to really get us going. The girls really worked the basketball and did a good job of attacking the basket and then finding the open girl. We finally had a night where we hit from the outside consistently, hitting 10 threes on only 18 attempts which was fantastic.
“Kerigan Wessing had a great game and was only two rebounds and assists off of her second triple double of the year and her and Melissa Schlotzhauer complimented each other all night, both hitting 27 points. Cynthia Brumback continues to improve, McKenzi Schuster hit three threes, and McKalie Lorenz battled inside all night so all five starters had good games and played by far our most complete game of the year, but we have no time to rest with three games this week and the start of conference play.”
In addition to scoring 27 points in the game, Wessing also had eight rebounds, eight assists, four steals and one blocked shot while Schlotzhauer added 17 points, four rebounds, four assists, three steals and one blocked shot.
McKenzi Schuster chipped in nine points, five rebounds and one assist while McKalie Lorenz had two points, seven rebounds, three assists and one steal, McKenzie Lorenz with one point, Cynthia Brumback with eight rebounds, five steals and one assist and Katelyn Renfro with one rebound and one steal.
For Fayette, Caitlin Wells had 18 points and Kenzie Smentkowski 14.
As for the Pilot Grove boys basketball team, they played from behind for pretty much the entire game against Marshall while losing in the consolation finals by a score of 67-60.
The Tigers, dropping to 14-5 on the season, trailed Marshall 23-7 after one and 38-24 at the half before rallying back with a 23-10 advantage in the third quarter to cut the lead to one at 48-47. Unfortunately for Pilot Grove, they would get no closer as Marshall came back with a 19-13 scoring edge in the final period for the victory.
Pilot Grove coach Rick Grunden said the Tigers took on a very scrappy and physical team in the Marshall Owls.
“Honestly, if we could just take away the first quarter of this game, it totally would have gone the other way,” Grunden said. “In the first quarter, we just did not do a good job closing out defensively. It also didn't help that they did not miss a single three-pointer until deep in the second quarter. Our intensity picked up at the start of the second quarter, but it was the second half where we really showed what we were made of. I am extremely proud of how hard my boys played in the second half and how much fight they had coming back from the first half deficit.  Junior Colton Glenn and Senior Kendall Kraus really came through for us time and time again throughout the game. I think we taught ourselves a much needed lesson about the intensity it takes to win.  It will be very important for us to bring the exact same intensity into the upcoming conference season.”
Zach Bishop led all scorers in the game for Marshall with 17 points.
For Pilot Grove, Colton Glenn had 19, Kendall Kraus 13, Mason Schlotzhauer 10, Jake Leverton nine, Dylan Twenter six, Adam Newell two and Regan Meisenheimer with one.