Pilot Grove girls basketball coach Linda Scott was the least bit impressed Tuesday night after the Lady Tigers beat Bunceton 55-44.
As the No. 5 team in the state in Class 1, Scott said maybe the girls were tired or maybe they were looking past this game to Friday night’s game against Community R-6.
“We had no intensity tonight at all,” Scott said. “When we want to play with intensity we are good. We need four quarters a night to finish the season strong. I thought our three seniors played well together. Schlotzhauer, Schupp and Wolfe had 43 points, 25 rebounds, 13 steals and seven assists combined. Grace Schupp finished strong in the second half with eight points and three rebounds after getting into foul problems early in the game.
“We allowed a team that we had blown out to get back to striking distance, but we finished strong the last two minutes. We are going into phase 3 of our season. We need to rest, practice and get fired up for the rest and best part of our season if we want to make a run at a district championship. We came out of January 8-3, losing to three great teams to end phase 2 of our season at 16-3.”
Although the Lady Tigers were outscored in the first and final periods by Bunceton, they were able to inflict enough damage in the second and third quarters to get the job done against the Dragons.
Nonetheless, Pilot Grove was slow to match Bunceton early on as the Lady Dragons scored the first five points of the game and then matched the Tigers with five points for the rest of the period to go up 10-5.
Pilot Grove then hit the reset button in the second quarter by opening the period with 15 straight points during a six minute stretch to lead Bunceton 20-10. Senior Emily Schupp also had something to do with the run by the Lady Tigers with eight points during that span.
Of course the run by Pilot Grove could have had something to do with blocking the passing lanes by Bunceton or maybe the Lady Tigers just woke up by outscoring the Dragons 17-3 to lead 22-13 at the break.
Turnovers also played a big part in the second quarter as Pilot Grove forced 10 miscues while turning it over three times.
Bunceton coach Dustin Ray said if his team cuts down on their turnovers and make some more free throws, this game is very close. “We played a very poor second quarter and I believe that changed everything for us,” Ray said. “Twenty-two turnovers and barely 50 percent from the free throw line just won’t do it.”
Actually, the Lady Dragons were 52 percent from the foul line by hitting 11 of 21 shots.
Either way, Bunceton played a much better third quarter even though Pilot Grove still outscored the Lady Dragons 12-9 to extend the lead to 34-22.
The third quarter was also a quarter of momentum as Pilot Grove opened the game with four straight and then reeled off six straight during a minute and a half stretch to make it 32-15 with 4:16 left. However over the final two minutes and 10 seconds, Bunceton took its turn by outscoring the Lady Tigers 7-2 to cut the lead back to 12.
As for the fourth quarter, Pilot Grove and Bunceton combined for more points than the first-two quarters put together. The two former CCAA rival tallied 43 points in the final period while scoring only 35 in the first half.
Pilot Grove also matched its biggest lead in the fourth after a layup by freshman Grace Phillips to push the lead to 44-27 with 4:49 left. However over the final four minutes and 31 seconds, Bunceton reeled off seven straight during a 60 second stretch and outscored Pilot Grove 17-11 for the rest of the game to cut it back to 11.
Schupp led all scorers in the game with 24 points along with 10 rebounds, seven steals and four assists.
Chloe Schlotzhauer finished the game with 11 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists while Melanie Wolfe added eight points, 10 rebounds, three steals and one assist, Phillips with eight points, three rebounds, one steal and one assist, Natalie Rentel two points and two rebounds, Abby Schupp two points and one rebound, Reagan McFatrich two rebounds, one steal and one assist and Natalie Glenn with two rebounds.
For Bunceton, who dropped to 6-11 on the season, Taylor Burnett had 14 points, four steals, one rebound and one assist. Chloe Moser added nine points, eight rebounds, two steals and one assist while Madelynn Myers had nine points, four steals, three rebounds and one assist, Cara Bishop six points, six rebounds, three steals and three assists and Maddie Brandes six points and six rebounds.