The opening round of the Class 1 District 9 Tournament in Pilot Grove went as scripted Wednesday night with all of the top seeds moving on to the second round.
While all four games were decided by 14 points or more, the biggest blowout of the night came in the very first game as top-seeded Chamois blasted Missouri School for the Deaf 54-18. In other games, No. 4 Pilot Grove upended No. 5 Otterville 63-47 while No. 2 Prairie Home finished 16 better than Columbia Independent 67-51. As for the final game, No. 3 Jamestown beat No. 6 Bunceton 66-52.
Tournament action will continue on the boys side on Friday, with Chamois taking on Pilot Grove at 6 p.m. and Prairie Home battling Jamestown for the second time in a week at 7:30 p.m.
The winners will advance to the championship game at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
In the opening game, Devin Warren led three players in double figures with 13 points and Chamois held a 23-14 halftime lead against MSD.
Nate Nolte and Logan Bockting each had 11 points for the Pirates, who held MSD to just four points in the second half while putting up 30.
MSD was led by Mikal Meriwether with eight points.
As for the Pilot Grove Tigers, they had their hands full early on against Otterville while trailing 12-11 after the first eight minutes.
Of course it didn’t help that Pilot Grove hit only 4 of 17 shots from the field in the first period for 24 percent.
But that all changed in the second quarter as the Tigers found their footing in the way of 5 of 9 shooting and outscoring Otterville 14-2 to lead at the half 25-14.
Senior Gavin Shepherd also got hot in the second quarter with nine of the teams 14 points.
That didn’t stop for Shepherd in the third quarter. While the Tigers outscored Otterville 20-14 to lead by 17 at 45-28, Shepherd tossed in another 10 points to go along with his 11 in the first half.
Pilot Grove’s biggest lead in the ballgame came at the 6:37 mark in the fourth on a long three by junior Cole Meisenheimer to extend the lead to 23 at 52-29.
Otterville never got any closer than 16 for the rest of the game but did outscored Pilot Grove 19-18 in the fourth.
Shepherd finished the game with 23 points to lead Pilot Grove while Bailey Quint and Cole Meisenheimer added 15 points each, Lucas Fahrendorf seven, Kealin Vinson two and Dorsan Hern with one.
For Otterville, Isaiah Gilmore had 17 and Ben Morrison and Mason Mathews each with eight.
“I thought our kids played with a fire that they need to keep burning all week long,” said Pilot Grove coach Derek Skaggs. “Our intensity was were we need it to be and allowed us to get many opportunities at the offensive end of the court. Gavin came out in the 2nd quarter defensively and really sparked some energy for us. We need him to be a two player and when he is, we play well. Our other two guards, Bailey and Cole were offensively where they need to be. If our 3 main scorers are working offensively with numbers like last night and the post are taking care of post presence offensively and defensively, we are tough. Kealin did a great job defensively on the Mathews kid and we need the post to continue to do that for the remainder. We are operating about 8 deep right now and everyone is playing their role at a high level.”
In the third game, the Panthers got everybody involved against Columbia Independent with six different scorers alone in the first half.
Prairie Home also led from the opening tip, with senior Blake Petsel leading the way with half the team’s points with nine. The Panthers never trailed after the first after going up 18-11 and then outscored Columbia Independent 20-9 in the second to extend the lead to 38-20 at the break.
The Panthers had a little bit of a fall off in the third quarter as Columbia Independent cut the lead to nine at 40-31 with 5:22 left. The Lions also outscored Prairie Home 15-14 in the third but still trailed by 17 (52-35) with one quarter to play. Meanwhile, after pushing the lead back up to 28 at 65-37 with 4:45 left in the fourth on two free throws by junior Kassen Lock, the Panthers closed out the rest of the game with the starters on the bench. Columbia Independent held a 14-2 advantage over the final three minutes and 53 seconds to cut it back to 16.
“We got a great performance from Blaine with a career high 16 points to go with 21 from Kassen and 14 from Blake.  The post position “collective” of Luke, Colton and Ty got 8. “
“We got off to a nice halftime lead of 38-20 then diddled around for half the third as they got it back to 9, then went on a 6-0 run to go up 17 at the end of three.  They made a late push but we scored the 16-point win. Our execution offensively was pretty good, though we were uncharacteristically loose with the ball, turning it over a season high 15 times.  Defensively, their coaches did a good job in giving their kids a system they could produce with, and we didn’t always do a great job defending all the intricacies. The 2 seed in the tournament isn’t always a blessing. You can overlook or underestimate an opponent, and those opponents are dangerous because they have nothing to lose.  Our kids did an above average job of going about their business and came away with the win.”
“So now it comes down to Jamestown. While physical matchups aren’t great in some places for us, competitively, we match up perfectly.  It means the game could be a one-pointer either way. We have to come ready for an emotional, preparation-heavy game where in the end, one great play wins it, or one bad play loses it. We’ll be ready to fight for the life of our team.”
Lock finished the game with 21 points to lead all scorers in the game for Prairie Home, who improved to 16-9 overall. He also had seven rebounds, five steals and one assist.
Blaine Petsel finished the game with 16 points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists while Blake Petsel added 14 points, three rebounds, one steal and one assist, Clayton Pethan eight points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals, Luke Stewart four points, seven rebounds and one steal, Colton Searles two points and two rebounds and Ty Stidham with two points.
For Columbia Independent, Dylan Sayers had 15, Wyatt Burks 12 and Marcus Hauan with 11.
In the final game, Jamestown left little doubt against Bunceton while smothering the Dragons to the tune of 43 first half points.
The Eagles, who were coming off a heartbreaking loss last Thursday against Prairie Home for the conference title, showed little if any affects on Wednesday with three players in double figures.
As for the Dragons, they played from behind all night and trailed by as much as 20 (31-11) early in the second quarter. Bunceton also had just one instance in the first half, where they scored back to back baskets-that coming with 3:12 and 2:40 left on baskets by Layne Maddex and Hunter Shuffield.
The second half was a much better half for the Dragons, as they outscored Jamestown 28-23 but still trailed 55-36 after three. The Eagles also went on a 8-0 run in the third quarter to go up 51-29.
Meanwhile, in the fourth, Jamestown increased the lead to 25 (66-41) before emptying the bench as Bunceton closed out the final minute and 20 seconds on a 11-0 run to cut it back to 14.
Clark Rohrbach led three players in double figures for Jamestown with 27. Christian Snyder chipped in 16 while Cole Higgins added 14.
For Bunceton, who finished the season at 8-15 overall, Jason Burnett had 16 points, seven steals, five rebounds and one assist.
Dylan Flatt came off the bench to chip in nine points, two rebounds, one steal and one assist while Hunter Shuffield added eight points, five rebounds and two steals, Brayden Doyle eight points, six rebounds, one steal and one assist, Layne Maddex six points, five rebounds and one assist and Dillon Alpers with five points, four rebounds and three steals.
“We came out a little slower than normal to start off this game,” said Bunceton coach Dustin Ray. “Not exactly how we wanted the season to come to a close, but nothing to hang our head on.  As our season comes to a close, I can’t be more proud of this team and what they have done with only 6 players. The heart and character that they have displayed over the past few months is truly something special.  They have accomplished more than what they thought they would.  In my book, that is considered a win.”