The Pilot Grove boys basketball team had a great start in the opening round of the Wildcat Classic in Slater on Tuesday by knocking off No. 3 Fayette 66-62.
The Tigers, the No. 6 seed in the tournament, trailed Fayette 10-8 after the first eight minutes of the ballgame before rallying back with a 58-52 advantage for the rest of the game.
Pilot Grove led Fayette 36-23 at the half and 50-46 after three quarters of play. The Tigers also matched Fayette with 16 points in the final period.
“We were finally able to escape a five-game skid and find some positive traction,” Skaggs said. “The kids did a great job of coming out in the second quarter and making a statement of where they wanted to be by the end of this game. Hayden Krumm gave us a great second quarter spark, where he scored all of his 13 points off the bench. Of course knowing Fayette would not go down easy they made a late charge but we were able to hold an edge. Cole was able to break a rough free throw stretch late in the fourth for us by hitting two in a row, which kept the game at two possessions. This was a game where we just needed to survive and advance. All eight of our guys that seen the floor contributed with two plus field goals each.”
Senior Cole Meisenheimer led eight players in scoring for Pilot Grove with 15 points. Hayden Krumm tossed in 13 while Bailey Quint had 10, Dylan Schupp eight, Kealin Vinson six, Dade Christy and Seth Blumhorst each with five and Bo Vinson with four.
For Fayette, Kyle Schleeter had 19 while Tyler Bartholomew and Zach Henderson added 11 points each.
As for the Pilot Grove girls, they had a terrible opening quarter Monday night against Marshall in a 61-31 loss.
The Lady Tigers, 3-9 on the season, trailed Marshall 26-3 after first period’s end and 43-12 at the half. Pilot Grove matched the Owls with 19 points in the second half.
Pilot Grove coach Linda Scott said the girls played scared in the first half.
“Marshall is a huge team,” Scott said. “I thought we played defense well, they just didn’t miss many shots. The last three quarters, Marshall only outscored us by eight and the last half we played them even. However, they hit 9 of 12 threes for 75 percent. They were hot all night. We got to see every player against a bigger and better team. Our effort, however, must get better every play, every game win or lose.”
Grace Phillips had 19 points, six rebounds, three assists and one steal in a losing cause for the Lady Tigers. Natalie Glenn finished the game with seven points, six rebounds and five steals while Danae Lammers added three points, Marci Lammers two points and two rebounds, Natalie Rentel three rebounds, one steal and one assist, ClariaMae Roth three rebounds, Leah Vollrath with one rebound and one assist and Reagan McFatrich and Laney Heilman each with one rebound.