It’s not the outcome she wanted Monday night on the road against the Cairo Bearcats.
But to Pilot Grove coach Linda Scott, the 63-55 loss to the Bearcats was by far the Lady Tigers best game of the year against a great team.
“I thought we battled all game,” Scott said. “The defense was outstanding at times against a good shooting team, but foul problems plagued us all game. Even though we lost, I feel like we are playing our best ball of the season. We had seven players score and four had eight-plus points or more. We just didn’t shoot very well from the three-point line and struggled early.”
The Lady Tigers, dropping to 6-14 overall and 4-3 in the Central Activities Conference, had to play from behind all night while trailing Cairo 21-16 after one and 35-30 at the half. The Bearcats also led 48-40 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile, in the final period, Pilot Grove matched Cairo with 15 points.
Scott said Pilot Grove played well the last three minutes of the game. “I thought our press was good,” Scott said. “Cairo couldn’t get the ball inbounds, but we couldn’t get a steal, either. They hit their free throws late and I think were 8 of 10 in the last two minutes”
Scott also praised the play of the seniors, who scored over half of the team’s points.
“We need them to push us to the next level, heading into districts,” Scott said.
Natalie Glenn finished the game with a double-double for Pilot Grove with 14 points and 10 rebounds. She also had two steals.
Senior Abby Schupp, meanwhile, chipped in 12 points, six rebounds and one assist. Grace Phillips added eight points, three assists, two steals and one rebound while Natalie Rentel contributed eight points and five rebounds, Reagan McFatrich six points, four rebounds, one assist and one steal, Marci Lammers five points, two steals, one rebound and one assist and Leah Vollrath with two points.
As for the Pilot Grove boys basketball, they also fell short against the Bearcats 82-72.
The Tigers, dropping to 9-12 overall and 2-6 in the CAC, led Cairo by three (22-19) after one but was outscored 19-12 in the second period and 21-12 in the third to trail by 13 (59-46). Meanwhile, in the final period, Pilot Grove rallied back again with a 26-23 advantage.
“I thought our guys fought hard against a Class 1 top 5 powerhouse tonight,” Skaggs said. “They have a great team with a lot of size and we were in their gym. We were able to take some quality moments away from this game. We have guys that can score the ball showing that as we close the season. We are going to give everyone our best shot. We are no walk in the park and just gearing up for what we hope to be a great and exciting  finish to our season.”
Junior Bailey Quint led three players in double figures for Pilot Grove with 27 points. Kealin Vinson chipped in 13 while Cole Meisenheimer added 10, Hayden Krumm seven, Bo Vinson six, Dalton Reuter four, Dylan Schupp three and Dade Christy with two.
For Cairo, Colby Hale had 23, Gage Wilson 21 and Bryce Taylor 19.