Lady Tigers surge past Bunceton 60-35

The Prairie Home boys and Pilot Grove girls knew what was at stake Thursday night on the final night of regular play in the Pilot Grove Tiger Classic.
With the winners of the two games moving on to the championship on Saturday, the Panthers rallied from a one point deficit after three by outscoring Pilot Grove 16-8 in the final period for a 49-42 victory. As for the Pilot Grove girls, they trailed by three at the break but had a strong second half while outscoring Bunceton 40-12 for a convincing 60-35 win.
In other games on Thursday, the Sacred Heart girls defeated Prairie Home 56-39 while the Stover boys upended Bunceton 77-18.
The Prairie Home girls will play Stover in the consolation finals tonight at 6 p.m. while the Bunceton boys take on Otterville in the other consolation game at 7:30. Then, on Saturday, the Bunceton girls will play Otterville in the third place game at 2 p.m., followed by the Pilot Grove boys versus Tuscumbia at 3:30, Sacred Heart girls versus Pilot Grove in the championship at 5 and Prairie Home boys versus Stover for the title at 6:30.
“We didn’t play our best game,” said Prairie Home coach Dalton Armontrout. “We got off to a slow start and got into some foul trouble. We faced some adversity tonight and I was proud to see my guys fight through that. I thought offensively, we were uncomfortable. Defensively, I thought they got into the paint easily. We face a good stover team on Saturday. We will have to clamp down and play better to get a win.”
As expected, the Panthers and Tigers battled it out for the entire 32 minutes. Pilot Grove led 12-7 after first period’s end only to have Prairie Home rally back in the second quarter with a 17-11 advantage to go in at the break on top 24-23. Meanwhile, after Pilot Grove held a 11-8 scoring edge in the third to go up 34-33, Prairie Home came back and outscored the Tigers 16-8 in the final period for the victory.
Creed Flood had 15 points, seven rebounds, two steals and one assist to lead Prairie Home, who improved to 4-1.
Kassen Lock finished the game with 12 points, six rebounds, three steals and three assists while Clayton Pethan added 11 points, seven rebounds, four assists and one steal, Alex Rhode six points, five rebounds and one steal, Ty Stidham five points, five rebounds and two assists, Luke Stewart four rebounds and one steal and Sage Eichenburch with one assist.
For Pilot Grove, Cole Meisenheimer had 13, Gavin Shepherd nine, Ethan Williams and Lucas Fahrendorf six each, Anderson Twenter five and Bailey Quint with three.
Pilot Grove coach Derek Skaggs said the boys came out and put up a pretty solid defensive effort.
“There were some key moments in the game that we have to get better at,” Skaggs said. “We had a critical moment ending the third that allowed them to close a four point game with a three and carry momentum into the fourth. Those end of quarter situations have to be in our control.”
As for the Pilot Grove girls, they had another slow first half while trailing Bunceton 16-11 after first period’s end and 23-20 at the break. However, in the second half, the Lady Tigers had a complete turnaround by holding Bunceton to just four points while exploding for 23 to go up 43-27. Meanwhile, in the final period, Pilot Grove again took the offensive by outscoring the Lady Dragons 17-8 to win by 25.
“Once again we played two different games each half,” said Pilot Grove coach Landon Daniel. “For some reason we have been struggling with opening games with the intensity and focus that we need to and then we completely turn it around at halftime to finish the game with a solid win.
“Defensive communication has really been the difference for us this week. We decide that we want to rotate quickly and communicate on the defensive side of the ball we are a pretty solid team. We will have to figure out how to put all of it together for a full game though on Saturday against a strong Sacred Heart team.”
Reagan Walker led three players in double figures for Pilot Grove, who improved to 3-2, with 16 points along with four assists, three steals and three rebounds.
Abby Schupp finished the game with 12 points, three rebounds, two steals and one assist while Emily Schupp added 11 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals, Kaitlen Weekley nine points, 14 rebounds, two steals and one blocked shot, Chloe Schlotzhauer seven points, three rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots, Aryn Lorenz five points, three rebounds and two steals and Reagan McFatrich with six rebounds and one assist.
For Bunceton, who dropped to 2-3, Lauren Wieland had 15 points, seven rebounds, seven steals and two assists.
Chloe Moser chipped in seven points, 10 rebounds, two steals and one assist while Taylor Burnett added seven points, one rebound and one steal, Skyler Shuffield two points, five steals, three rebounds and two assists, Cara Bishop two points, three rebounds, one steal and one assist and Madelynn Myers also with two points.
The Prairie Home girls also faced an uphill battle against the tournament’s No. 1 seed Sacred Heart while trailing 32-7 at the break and 43-21 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile after trailing by 22 to start the fourth, the Lady Panthers had their best quarter of the ballgame by outscoring Sacred Heart 18-13.
“We played a bad first half,” said Prairie Home coach Dalton Armontrout. “We won the third quarter and fourth quarter and played very well together. Our defense was key. I thought we played good defense in the second half. We have to do a better job at moving without the ball and rebounding. We gave up a lot of offensive rebounds. Will look to get a win vs Stover.”
Madison McClain had 22 points to lead all scorers for Sacred Heart.
For Prairie Home, who dropped to 2-3, Kourtney Kendrick had nine points, nine rebounds and one steal while Jerzee Cantrell chipped in nine points, one steal and one assist.
Kelsey Watson tallied eight points, three rebounds and one steal while Ashlyn Twenter added seven points and four rebounds and Maggie Wood with six points, five rebounds and one assist.
As for the Bunceton boys, they trailed top-seeded Stover from the opening tip as the Bulldogs led 46-15 at the half and 65-18 after three quarters of play. The Bulldogs then outscored Bunceton 12-0 in the final period.
Bunceton coach Cass Keene said the Dragons are not going to compete with the better teams on their schedule until they play with more poise and execution. “There’s no excuse for a performance like last night,” Keene said. “We have to work hard in practice and play with more confidence. I liked Brayden Doyle’s effort in the first half.”
Camren Worthley had 29 points to lead all scorers for Stover.
For Bunceton, Brayden Doyle had 10, Dillon Alpers and Braxton Kempf three each and Jason Burnett with two.