Tigers return plenty of experience for 2020-21 season
It’s safe the say that the Pilot Grove Tigers basketball team was disappointed in the outcome of the 2019-20 season.
After finishing 9-15 overall and 2-8 in the Central Activities Conference, head coach Derek Skaggs said even though the Tigers finished six games under .500 for the season he still had a group of kids that competed all year long and gave plenty to be proud of moving forward. “We were able to regain our Tiger Classic Championship title to highlight the season,” Skaggs said.
This season with six players returning that started at one time or another last year, Skaggs said his hope is that the success the Tigers had in 2019-20 fuels the team as they prepare for the upcoming season.
Entering his seventh season at Pilot Grove, Skaggs said the players feel that this is a season of reloading and not rebuilding.
And for good season. Although the Tigers lost an all-conference and all-district player in Cole Meisenheimer to graduation, they return senior Bailey Quint at the guard position. Like Meisenheimer, Quint earned all-conference and all-district accolades in 2019-20.
“We graduated a couple starters but returned three starters and our 6, 7 and 8 men off the bench,” Skaggs said. “We expect to be just as competitive and have another great year. As always we feel like we have a great shot for postseason success. Our conference is going to be solid and very competitive again this year.”
Make no mistake, Skaggs said the key losses will be significant. He said Meisenheimer and Kealin Vinson both gave the Tigers leadership and high basketball IQ. \
Meisenheimer was also the second leading scorer at 14 ppg while pulling down 6.0 rpg, while Vinson led the team in the paint and could step out with range.
As for the returning starters, Skaggs said Bailey Quint, Bo Vinson, Dylan Schupp, Dade Christy, Seth Blumhorst and Hayden Krumm all saw starting opportunity last year. Skaggs said the Tigers return experience on the floor with the 2020 squad.
Of course Quint did a little bit of everything for Pilot Grove last year while averaging 16.5 ppg along with 6.0 rpg, 4.6 apg and 3.4 spg. Quint also shot 45.6 percent from the field and 22 percent from the three-point arc.
Skaggs said Quint will graduate as a 2,000 point scorer.
“Bailey is one of the best I have seen at finishing and tenacious on defense,” Skaggs said. “We look forward to his perimeter game elevating this year.”
Although Quint will be the player that teams try to stop this season, Skaggs will also look to Schupp, Vinson, Krumm, Reuter, Christy and Blumhorst to help carry some of the load.
Skaggs said Schupp has become a great defensive player and worked hard at becoming a set shooter this summer. “He needs to have three phases of the game: defense, transition finish, and perimeter threat,” Skaggs said.
Schupp finished the season averaging 2.8 ppg.
As for Vinson, Skaggs said Bo is a power forward who can play anywhere 3-5 on the floor for the Tigers. “He has a year under his belt and will add strength to both sides of the floor for Pilot Grove,” Skaggs said. “We look forward to his maturity and the growth that will provide him within the game.”
Vinson finished the season averaging 4.1 ppg and 2.6 rpg.
Krumm will also give the Tigers a great outside threat. Skaggs said Krumm does a great job at hitting perimeter shots and getting out in transition. “We are really pushing him to become a great defender,” Skaggs said.
Krumm finished the season averaging 7.0 ppg.
As for Reuter, Skaggs said he plays as a utility guy for the Tigers and has great footwork for an undersized post man. “Dalton can play on the interior as well as the perimeter,” Skaggs said.
Reuter finished the season averaging 1.2 ppg.
Christy will bring great energy as well on the defensive end as well as transition, Skaggs said. “We need him to be confident with his abilities to shoot the perimeter three as well,” Skaggs said.
Christy finished the season averaging 4.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg and 1.0 apg.
As for Blumhorst, Skaggs said Seth is a strong power forward who is undersized but finds a way to clean up the glass and finish around the rim at a high percentage.
Blumhorst finished the season averaging 3.0 ppg and 2.8 rpg.
Another player that will see playing time this season for Pilot Grove is Dalton Hazlett.
Skaggs said expect the Tigers to run a transition style and motion offense and man defense this season.