Pilot Grove drops 55-49 decision against Westran in consolation semifinals

The Prairie Home girls and Pilot Grove boys basketball teams had a chance Wednesday night in the consolation semifinals in the annual New Franklin Invitational Tournament.
With the winner to move on to the consolation finals on Friday, the Lady Panthers fell to Fayette in a nailbiter 35-31. As for the Pilot Grove boys, they rallied from a double digit deficit but ran out of time while losing to the Westran Hornets 55-49.
In other games on Wednesday, the Sweet Springs girls out-lasted Westran 41-36 while the Tipton boys edged Sturgeon by a score of 53-48.
The Prairie Home Lady Panthers, dropping to 4-7 on the season, trailed throughout the game against Fayette after scoring only four points in the opening quarter. The Lady Falcons led Prairie Home 12-4 after first period’s end.
As for the second quarter, Prairie Home came out and reeled off six straight points to cut the lead to two at 12-10 with 6:13 left but never got any closer as Fayette held a 9-8 advantage for the rest of the half to lead by a score of 21-18.
Meanwhile, after both teams put up five points in the third quarter, Fayette came back and outscored Prairie Home 9-8 in the fourth to seal the victory.
Prairie Home coach Dalton Armontrout said his team couldn’t hit anything. “We got some good looks, we just couldn’t make a layup,” Armontrout said. “We didn’t shoot free throws very well, either, and settled for jump shots. Just a overall bad game when you give up 30 offensive rebounds and foul 21 times. We’ll look to get back in the win column next game.”
Abbey Conrow had the high game for Fayette with 15 points.
For Prairie Home, Kourtney Kendrick finished the game with 18 points, six rebounds, three steals and one assist.
Kelsey Watson tallied five points, nine rebounds and one steal while Maggie Wood added three points, four rebounds and one assist, Jerzee Cantrell three points, two rebounds and one steal and Ashlyn Twenter with two points and one steal.
The struggles also showed at the foul line and field goals made against Fayette as the Lady Panthers converted on only 15 of 32 shots from the line for 47 percent and 8 of 54 from the field for 15 percent.
As for the Pilot Grove boys, they were right there with Westran for three quarters. Although the Hornets led after each quarter, Pilot Grove only trailed by three (13-10) after first period’s end and 29-20 at the half. Meanwhile, in the third quarter, the Tigers outscored Westran 16-15 to cut the lead to eight at 44-36. Then, in the final period, Pilot Grove again held a 13-11 advantage only to fall short.
Pilot Grove coach Derek Skaggs said the boys have to find ways to win close games and their struggles at the free throw line have simply got to improve.
“We can’t give ourselves a shot at winning games that we have lost in single digit margins if we can’t improve that one aspect,” Skaggs said.
Avery Hammond had 25 points and Ben Miller 10 to lead Westran.
For Pilot Grove, who dropped to 1-10 on the season, Gavin Shepherd finished the game with 16 points. Bailey Quint tossed in 14 while Cole Meisenheimer added nine, Lucas Fahrendorf and Donnavan Gerke each with four and Anderson Twenter with two.
As for the free-throw line, the Tigers struggled by hitting only 1 of 10 shots for 10 percent.
In other games in the tournament on Wednesday, Michaela Malter had 21 points to lead Sweet Springs. Westran was led by Maddy Denslow with 19 points.
Sweet Springs led Westran 19-15 at the half and then outscored the Lady Hornets 22-21 in the second half.
As for the Tipton-Sturgeon boys game, the Bulldogs led Tipton 17-8 after first period’s end but was outscored 22-9 in the second quarter as the Cardinals rallied back to lead at the half 30-26. Meanwhile, after Sturgeon held a 9-7 advantage in the third quarter to cut the lead to 37-35, Tipton came back and outscored the Bulldogs 16-13 in the fourth to garner the victory.
Kodie Dick had 18 points and Brock Bookout 15 for Tipton.
For Sturgeon, Hunter Winngar had 11 and Jessie Roberts 10.