Bunceton Lady Dragons go 3-0 to win first place in PG Tiger Classic

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News

The Bunceton Lady Dragons basketball team finished a perfect 3-0 to capture first in the annual Pilot Grove Tiger Classic over the weekend.

By finishing undefeated in the tournament, Bunceton won two games by double digits and then beat another team that was previously unbeaten.

In the final game on Friday, the Lady Dragons throttled Sedalia Sacred Heart 44-9.

While improving to 4-0 on the season, Bunceton head coach Dustin Ray said the team had a very bad offensive showing with low shooting percentages and too many turnovers. “The girls played defense as the score board shows,” Ray said. “I’m very happy to have won with the low shooting numbers. These girls continue to find new ways to win, and I hope the streak can continue. This is their first tournament championship as a group, and I am extremely proud of them.”

Although the Lady Dragons wound up shooting just 26 percent for the game, they were 8 of 7 from the foul line for 88 percent.

Of course that mattered little as Bunceton took a 28-4 lead into the half and then outscored the Gremlins 16-5 in the final-two periods.

Maggie Wood led all scorers in the game for Bunceton with 13 points along with six rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Madelynn Myers finished the game with 10 points, six rebounds, one steal and one assist while Madison Brown added seven points, a team-high 14 rebounds along with one steal and one assist. Kylee Myers had six points, five rebounds and two steals while Maddie Brandes chipped in four points, seven rebounds, one steal and one assist, Paiton Williams two points, five rebounds, two steals and one assist and Kelsey Watson with two points, three rebounds, two assists and one steal.

For Sacred Heart, Kate Carney had six points and Shea Smith with three. 

As for the Pilot Grove girls, they finished 2-1 in the tournament for second place. The Lady Tigers beat Northwest of Hughesville Friday night 54-36.

The Lady Tigers, 4-1 on the season, outscored Northwest in all four quarters and led 15-9 after one, 34-18 at the half and 43-26 after three. Pilot Grove also held a 11-10 advantage in the final period.

Emma Sleeper led all scorers for Pilot Grove with 20 points. Marci Lammers chipped in 12, Grace Phillips eight, Danae Lammers seven, Leah Vollrath four, Lauren Krumm two and Grace Peterson with one.

For Northwest, Karli Smith had 20 points and Grace Walker 12.

Pilot Grove coach Grant Fricke said the girls had a good response against Northwest. “We were a little down after the Bunceton loss because we wanted to defend home court and win our own tournament,” Fricke said. “This was a good way to move on and find ourselves in the win column again. We really played with the next person up mentality tonight. Natalie Glenn rolled an ankle in the Bunceton game, so we look to get her back when we play Glasgow in the next game at home. Ava Hoff is another player we look to get back as she is in her return to play period coming off of a quarantine. We missed both of their defensive presence on the interior tonight as Karli Smith was able to pour in 20 points against us.”

Fricke added that the team should be back to full strength come Thursday as they play Sturgeon for the first away game of the season. He said Emma Sleeper found herself in the starting role again for the second time this season and played extremely well, scoring a career-high 20 points.

Fricke said freshman Lauren Krumm made her first varsity bucket for two points, and Grace Peterson made a free throw.

“We have a growth mindset as a team,” Fricke said. “We will continue to get better and better every game and every practice.”

As for the Pilot Grove boys basketball team, they had a tough final two games in the tournament by losing to Sacred Heart on Thursday 63-54 and again on Saturday in the third place game against Northwest 60-39.

In the game Thursday against Sacred Heart, head coach Derek Skaggs said he knew the Tigers were going to be mentally tested.

Sacred Heart led Pilot Grove 31-19 at the half and 47-29 after three quarters of play. However, in the final period, the Tigers held a 25-16 advantage to close the gap.

“They are physical and longer than us,” Skaggs said. “We struggled to get anything going for the first-three quarters. They were getting second chance points off the boards and we were fouling too much to get any rhythm. We switched tempo in the fourth quarter and forced some turnovers, which we converted to layups and momentum for us. Our guys made a charge to cut it to seven under three minutes, but we just couldn’t get any closer. They are a good Class 2 team and our guys have nothing to hang their heads about. We have to pick ourselves up and get ready for Northwest, who is now a district opponent for us this year.”

Senior Bailey Quint had 24 points in the game for Pilot Grove. Hayden Krumm chipped in eight, Seth Blumhorst and Ian Sprick six each, Dade Christy five, Dalton Reuter and Dylan Schupp two each and Bo Vinson with one. 

Pilot Grove also finished the game, hitting 9 of 18 shots from the foul line for 50 percent. 

Coen Brown had 29 for Sacred Heart while Caden Crooker chipped in 11. 

In the game against Northwest, the Tigers again got off to a bad start while trailing Northwest 30-23 at the half and 44-35 after three quarters of play. The Mustangs also outscored Pilot Grove 16-4 in the fourth.

Skaggs said this was certainly not the way the Tigers wanted to pick themselves up off a semifinal loss. “We are disappointed with our performance and know we are capable of better,” Skaggs said. “We will close this week and prepare to open up conference play next week.”

Nick Crosswhite paced all scorers in the game for Northwest with 22 points while Pierson Tichner added 18.

For Pilot Grove, Bailey Quint tallied 17, Dylan Schupp nine, Hayden Krumm and Seth Blumhorst four each, Dade Christy and Dalton Hazlett each with two and Ian Sprick with one.

The Tigers were 6 of 11 from the foul line for 55 percent. 

In the boys consolation game, Prairie Home defeated Tuscumbia 56-33. Meanwhile, in the championship game, Leeton beat Sacred Heart 72-67.