Lady Tigers fall to Sweet Springs

The Pilot Grove boys and girls basketball teams may have lost the battle Tuesday night in the opening round of the New Franklin Invitational Tournament.
But for senior Cole Meisenheimer, the game was a milestone for the four-year starter as Meisenheimer eclipsed the 1,000th point in his career.
Meisenheimer also led the Tigers with 12 points in a 63-50 loss against No. 2 Sturgeon.
As for the Pilot Grove girls, they fell to Sweet Springs in a No. 3 versus No. 6 matchup 51-42.
In other games on Tuesday, the No. 2 New Franklin girls beat Sturgeon 38-18 while No. 4 Fayette finished six better than No. 5 Sweet Springs 58-52.
Tournament action will continue on the loser’s bracket side tonight, with Community boys playing Sweet Springs in the new gym and Sturgeon girls battling Pilot Grove in the old gym at 6 p.m. At 7:30, the Pilot Grove boys will face Prairie Home/Bunceton in the old gym while Westran squares off against Bunceton/Prairie Home in the new gym.
The Tigers, dropping to 3-4 on the season, had one bad quarter against Sturgeon and unfortunately that proved to be the difference as the Bulldogs led 18-4 after first period’s end, 28-14 at the half and 49-30 after three. Pilot Grove held a 20-14 advantage in the final period.
Pilot Grove coach Derek Skaggs said tonight was a tough game coming back from break.
“We certainly dug ourselves into a hole early and were not able to recover,” Skaggs said. “We fought back to within 10 twice, but credit to Sturgeon for shutting the door both times. We missed early shots that we should make and turned the ball over to give them an advantage. That was the big difference for us early. Other than that we played with them the second, third and fourth quarters. The upside to tonight was Cole Meisenheimer scoring his 1,000th point and finishing with 12 on the evening. He is a kid that has worked hard for us all four years and will one day appreciate his accomplishment. However, Cole is a team player and his words were,” I don’t want that ball we lost”.  He is a true leader for his teammates to follow and nothing is bigger to him than the game.”
Jake Snider had 21 and Logan Flashpohler 16 to lead Sturgeon.
Meisenheimer was the only player in double figures for Pilot Grove with 12. Bailey Quint, Dylan Schupp and Dade Christy each had nine while Bo Vinson added six, Hayden Krumm and Seth Blumhorst each with two and Luke Kollmeyer with one.
As for the Pilot Grove girls, 2-5, they trailed Sweet Springs 29-17 at the half but rallied back with a 14-6 advantage in the third quarter to cut the lead to four at 35-31. Meanwhile, in the final period, Sweet Springs outscored Pilot Grove 16-11 to win by nine.
Pilot Grove coach Linda Scott said the Lady Tigers had no answer for Sweet Springs’ post play. “They’re huge inside,” Scott said. “This was our first game in 25 days so it felt like the first game of the season. We had too many turnovers off their press and missed free throws killed us. However, I wanted us to step up our defensive game and we did that tonight. Before Christmas this team would have scored 65 points on us. I thought Natalie Glenn had a super all around game and played super hard every play. Natalie Rentel had a nice game also and rebounded well.”
Malter had the game-high for Sweet Springs with 26 points while Sims chipped in 13.
For Pilot Grove, Grace Phillips had 14 points, five assists and two steals. Natalie Glenn finished the game with 10 points, eight rebounds and one steal while Marci Lammers added eight points, two rebounds, one steal and one assist, Natalie Rentel six points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals, Reagan McFatrich four points and four rebounds, Abby Schupp three assists and two steals, Danae Lammers two rebounds and one assist and Leah Vollrath with two assists and one rebound.
As for the New Franklin girls, they were the area’s only winner on Tuesday while leading Sturgeon from start to finish.
The Lady Bulldogs, 5-4 on the season, opened the game with a 11-0 lead against Sturgeon and then outscored the Bulldogs 27-18 for the rest of the game.
New Franklin coach Morgan Vetter said this was a great win coming back from break.
“I’m proud of the girls energy and heart in this one,” Vetter said. “Defensively, we played much better and offensively we looked to attack much more. I’m excited to build off this win into Thursday.”
Abby Maupin led all scorers for New Franklin with 16 points. Kristen Flick chipped in seven while Addy Salmon added five, Kelsi Fair and Carly Dorson each with four and Campbell Cooper with two.
For Sturgeon, Alayna Hall had eight points.
In the only other game, Kyle Schleeter had 17 and Cole Polson with 12 as the Fayette boys led Sweet Springs 28-21 at the half and 38-34 after three quarters of play.
Wade Phillips had 12 points and Coleman Fogarty 11 for Sweet Springs.