The Pilot Grove boys and girls basketball teams did what they had to do Friday night on the road against the Madison Panthers.
In a battle between four teams in the bottom half of the conference in the CAC, the Pilot Grove boys left little doubt while leading from start to finish for a 78-35 victory. As for the Lady Tigers, they had to overcome a sluggish first quarter to beat Madison 49-43.
The Pilot Grove boys, improving to 9-11 overall and 2-5 in the CAC, outscored Madison in all four quarters and led 18-10 after one, 46-25 at the half and 70-33 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile, in the final period, the Tigers outscored Madison 8-2.
Pilot Grove coach Derek Skaggs said the guys came out focused and we were able to grab an early advantage on Madison and never look back.
“We had guys get confidence on the offensive side that haven’t had opportunities to do that this year so that was nice to see,” Skaggs said. “Overall, we were focused on defense and striving to collectively make that better. We know this upcoming week that we are going to have to be great every night out. We look forward to a week like we have never had before. We are the road to the top three teams in our conference and two of which are state ranked. Arguably, Slater should probably be as well.”
Junior Bailey Quint lit it up for the Tigers to a tune of 31 points. Dade Christy tossed in 16 points while Hayden Krumm added 11, Kealin Vinson six, Dylan Schupp and Cole Meisenheimer each with four and Bo Vinson with two.
For Madison, Connor O’Bannon had 11 points.
As for the Pilot Grove girls, they trailed Madison 14-11 after the first eight minutes but rallied back with a 38-29 advantage for the rest of the game.
The Lady Tigers, 7-13 overall and 5-2 in the CAC, led Madison 26-11 at the half and 38-35 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile, in the final period, Pilot Grove outscored the Panthers 11-8.
Pilot Grove coach Linda Scott said the Lady Tigers have now won three in a row and seem to be playing their best ball of the season at this point.
“This was a total team effort,” Scott said. “This is the way we have to play and that’s everyone doing their part to come home with a win. We battled on defense on every play, shut down their threes in the second half and scored 10 points-plus in all four quarters for the first time all season. We also had three players in double figures, plus one with nine points.”
Grace Phillips led all scorers in the game for Pilot Grove with 16 points along with five assists, four rebounds and three steals.
Natalie Rentel finished the game with 13 points, eight rebounds and one steal while Marci Lammers added 11 points, three steals, one rebound and one assist, Natalie Glenn nine points, nine rebounds and four steals, Reagan McFatrich three rebounds and one steal, Leah Vollrath two rebounds and one steal and Abby Schupp with one rebound.
Scott said Glenn and Rentel controlled the inside and scored 22 points and are really becoming a 1-2 punch.
“We have worked on our inside game of late and it’s paying off,” Scott said.