Nobody said it would ever be easy for the Pilot Grove Lady Tigers basketball team.
The Lady Tigers found that out firsthand Tuesday night on the road against the upset-minded Jamestown Lady Eagles.
While trailing 23-22 at the break, Pilot Grove scored when it had to and let the defense do the rest while edging Jamestown in a thriller to the last second 40-36.
“We had an off game tonight,” said Pilot Grove coach Linda Scott. “We missed too many shots within five feet of the basket. We were well below our 53 point scoring average tonight, but at the same time we were able to slow down Jamestown threes in the second half. We are not allowing teams a lot of points, but we still have a lot of work to do on our man defense. I thought Emily Schupp had a good night on the boards and scoring on putbacks. Melanie Wolfe had a bold night returning off an injury. This was another win, but not a pretty one. We seem to want to keep the score close every night. We need to make some changes to get us fired up for the next month of the season. But all in all I am proud of these girls. We have some big goals set for this team so it’s time for more effort both mentally and physically to reach those goals. But 8-0 is a very good start to our season.”
Of course Coach Scott was probably thinking otherwise in the first half as Jamestown came out sizzling from the three point arc by hitting seven threes for 21 of the team’s 23 points. Although the Lady Eagles would hit only one three in the second half, they gave Pilot Grove everything they wanted and more while trailing by just two (10-8) after first period’s end.
The first half was also about limiting Pilot Grove to one shot each trip down the floor. While the plan failed miserably with senior Emily Schupp, who had 14 of her game high 20 points in the first half, Jamestown still managed to outscore the Lady Tigers 15-12 in the second period to lead by one at the half.
Both teams also led by as much as five in the first half, with Pilot Grove’s coming early at 10-5 with 1:24 left in the first. Jamestown, meanwhile, led 23-18 with 1:31 remaining in the half.
There were also three ties in the first half at 2-2, 5-5 and 14-all.
That would change in the third quarter as Jamestown came out ice cold from the field while going almost four minutes without a basket. But even then Pilot Grove had a hard time pulling away while leading by just five during that stretch after a 7-0 run to go up 31-26.
The Lady Tigers also outscored Jamestown 9-5 in the third to lead by a score of 31-28.
The roles then reversed in the fourth quarter with Pilot Grove opening the period 0 for 4 from the field, which allowed Jamestown to rally back to tie the game at 33-33 and 35-all. However it was pretty much all Pilot Grove after that as the Lady Tigers held a 5-1 scoring edge for the rest of the game. But even then the game was still in doubt as Jamestown cut the lead to two at 38-36 with 24 seconds. Senior Melanie Wolfe then hit two big free throws with 17 seconds left to seal the victory.
Wolfe also finished the game with eight points while Chloe Schlotzhauer and Natalie Glenn added four points each, Abby Schupp three points and Grace Phillips with one point.
For Jamestown, Alyssa Reynolds tossed in 11 points while McKenzie Hargis added 10.