Pilot Grove boys lose on last-second shot against Otterville 69-68; Prairie Home boys fall to Tuscumbia 67-60

The third night of the annual Pilot Grove Classic may very well have been the best with two games coming down to the final seconds.
Although the Prairie Home Lady Panthers took care of business as usual in the first game by beating Otterville 60-32, the second game came down to a shot with 3 seconds left as the Otterville boys rallied past Pilot Grove 69-68. Meanwhile, in the final game Wednesday night, the Tuscumbia Lions and Prairie Home Panthers battled back and forth for 32 minutes with the Lions pulling away in the final period for a 67-60 victory.
Tournament action will continue on Friday with two third place games with the Stover girls playing Linn at 6 p.m. and Pilot Grove boys battling Prairie Home at 7:30. In the two championship games on Saturday, the Pilot Grove girls will play Prairie Home at 5 p.m. while the Tuscumbia boys square off against Otterville at 6:30.
As for the games Wednesday night, junior Kristen Peterson had the hot hand early on for the Lady Panthers with nine of the team’s 16 points.
Of course it didn’t hurt that Prairie Home led Otterville 16-3 after first period’s end or that they closed out the final six minutes and 31 seconds on a 14-0 run.
However after going up 18-3 on a basket by senior Shianne Rhorer with 6:31 left in the half, the Lady Panthers couldn’t seem to buy a basket while going almost three minutes without a field goal.
Otterville went on a 6-3 run during that span to cut the lead to 11 at 21-10. But for the final three minutes of the half, Prairie Home went on a 9-0 run to lead at the break 30-10.
The second half was a little tighter with Prairie Home holding a 15-14 advantage to lead 45-24. However, in the final period, the Lady Panthers again outscored Otterville 15-8 to win by 28.
Prairie Home coach Dalton Armontrout said this was a lot better game.
“We got some steals off our press,” Armontrout said. “We rebounded better, still need to rebound better off the weakside. I was really proud of Peterson. She stepped up big, took pressure off Rhorer and Distler.  Twenter, Fairchild, and Leonard all stepped up as well and took shots when we needed too. Look to capture a championship versus a good Pilot Grove team on Saturday.”
Senior Shianne Rhorer had her fifth double-double of the season with 22 points and 10 rebounds along with four steals and two assists.
Rachel Distler chipped in 18 points, six rebounds, five steals and one assist while Kristen Peterson added 15 points, seven rebounds, four steals and two assists, Ashlyn Twenter three points and one rebound, Elizabeth Fairchild two points, seven rebounds and one steal and Kurstin Leonard with one steal and one assist.
For Otterville, Abby Nichols had 14 points.
 As for the Pilot Grove Tigers, they could almost smell victory against Otterville while leading by seven (61-54) with 2:46 left in the fourth. But that all changed during a one minute stretch as the Eagles hit three straight threes to go up 65-64 with 1:06 remaining.
Meanwhile, after a basket by senior Brady Rentel to put Pilot Grove up by one at 68-67 with 20 seconds left, Otterville came back and scored the winning basket on a putback with 3 seconds left for the victory.
The first-three quarters were just as close as Pilot Grove led Otterville 19-17 after one and 30-29 at the break. Meanwhile, in the third quarter, the Tigers outscored the Eagles 17-16 to lead by two at 47-45.
Pilot Grove coach Derek Skaggs said another tough loss for the guys as Otterville put a missed attempt in at the buzzer to win by one.
“We are making things happen for about three quarters right now and getting some stops when we need it, but our last two minutes have to improve with ball security and execution at the free throw line,” Skaggs said. “We are learning some tough lessons early. If our guys stick together through this though it will make them one of the tougher teams.”
Jake Neal had 26 and Franklin Oswald 21 to lead Otterville.
For Pilot Grove, who dropped to 1-4 on the season, Steven Bell tossed in 24, Parker Schuster 21, Cole Mize 12 and Brady Rentel and Cole Meisenheimer each with 10.
In the final game, Prairie Home had no answer for Tuscumbia senior Orrie Patterson, who lit it up for a game-high 47 points.
Although the first-three quarters were too close to call, the Lions led Prairie Home 13-11 after one and 28-26 at the half. However, in the third quarter, the Panthers rallied back with a 19-17 advantage to tie the game at 45-all.
Patterson also had 11 of the team’s 17 points in the third.
With eight minutes left to decide to who moves on to the championship, Prairie Home and Tuscumbia again traded baskets for the first-six minutes tied at 59-all. However for the final two minutes of the game, the Lions outscored the Panthers 8-1 for the victory.
Prairie Home coach Dalton Armontrout said free throws hurt the Panthers.
“We have to put them in,” Armontrout said. “I thought we forced some shots and could have got better looks. We did not move the ball and did not move without the ball very well. We let one get away from us. Patterson had 47 but a lot of those were contested. We left him open a couple times at the end of the game. We just have to do a better job at taking better shots and not forcing.”
For Prairie Home, who dropped to 2-2 on the season, Wyatt Borghardt had 23 points along with five rebounds, three steals and one assist.
Ross Kendrick finished the game with 11 points, 11 rebounds and one steal while Creed Flood added eight points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals, Kassen Lock eight points, two steals and one rebound, Clayton Pethan seven points, three rebounds, two assists and one steal and Ty Stinson with three points and one rebound.
As for the free-throw line, the Panthers hit on only 11 of 23 shots for 48 percent.