Boys and girls win by the same identical score 35-32
The Bunceton boys and girls junior high basketball teams had something in common Friday night in a battle of former CCAA teams in Pilot Grove.
After watching the Lady Dragons edge Pilot Grove in the first game by a score of 35-32, the Dragons boys came back with the same identical score in the second game against the Tigers to complete the sweep.
The Lady Dragons came out and took the early lead against Pilot Grove while leading the Lady Tigers by 10 (19-9) at the break. However, in the third quarter, Pilot Grove rallied back with a 14-8 advantage to cut the lead back to four at 27-23. Unfortunately for the Lady Tigers, they were too little too late but did manage to outscore Bunceton again in the final period 9-8 to trim the lead to three.
Bunceton coach Mitch Hurt said the girls started the game making several shots from the offense and run-outs. “Pilot Grove made a very good run at us in the third quarter, however, we were able to keep a slim lead and finish the game,” Hurt said. “I am very proud of the way the girls played to keep battling and finish.”
Madelynn Myers had 17 points and seven rebounds to lead Bunceton, who improved to 3-6 on the season.
Maylyn Sykes finished the game with 16 points, seven rebounds and seven steals while Maddie Brandes added two points, seven rebounds and one steal, Taylyn Heilman with five rebounds and four steals, Abby Cunningham with two rebounds and Lexie Hein with one rebound and one steal.
As for Pilot Grove, who dropped to 6-4 on the season, Leah Vollrath had 14, Natalie Glenn 11 and Grace Phillips with seven.
Pilot Grove coach Linda Scott said this was the worst first half of the season for the Lady Tigers. “The offense just wasn’t around in the first half,” Scott said. “We were down by nine at the half and came back in the second half. With 7 seconds left we had a chance to tie the game. The girls showed a lot of heart. All year we have been a second half team but I think the girls learned tonight that it takes four quarters to beat a good team.”
As for the Bunceton boys, they also had a great first half while leading Pilot Grove 17-15 at the break. The Dragons also outscored the Tigers 11-8 in the third to extend the lead to five at 28-23. However, in the final period, Pilot Grove rallied back with a 9-7 advantage to cut the lead to three.
Hurt said the boys played well. “Pilot Grove is always a tough place to play and get a victory,” Hurt said. “We were able to hold off a very good come back by the Tigers and hit two free throws with a few seconds to go to get the victory.”
Jason Burnett finished the game with a double-double for Bunceton, 6-3 on the season, with 15 points and 13 rebounds. He also had two steals. Dillon Alpers had eight points, five rebounds and four steals while Hunter Shuffield added eight points, three rebounds and two steals, Blane Petsel with three points and one steal and Taylyn Heilman and Madelynn Myers each with one rebound.
Pilot Grove coach Derek Skaggs said the boys had a slow start the last couple of games coming out and it forces them to fight from behind. “We have to regain focus and pick ourselves up,” Skaggs said. “Our focus going in to the last week with four games is that we are going to try and force pressure and tempo early. We hope this will give us the early boost we need as we strive to closeout a solid season for us.”
Bailey Quint had the high game for Pilot Grove, who dropped to 8-4, with 12 points. Dalton Reuter chipped in 10, Hayden Krumm and Dylan Schupp three each and Bo Vinson and Luke Kollmeyer with two points each.