Tigers fall on the road in conference game against Sturgeon, 57-36
The Pilot Grove boys basketball team dropped to 3-4 overall and 1-1 in the Central Activities Conference after dropping a 57-36 decision last Thursday on the road against the Sturgeon Bulldogs.
Although the Bulldogs wound up winning by 21 points, Pilot Grove actually led Sturgeon 13-11 at the end of one. However, in the second quarter, the Bulldogs began to find their footing offensively while holding a 12-9 advantage to go up by one at 23-22. Pilot Grove never got any closer in the second half as Sturgeon outscored the Tigers 34-14.
Pilot Grove coach Derek Skaggs said the Tigers came out and executed their defensive plan in the first half, just as they planned. “Sturgeon has two top CAC players and we held them below their averages for the entire night,” Skaggs said. “On the offensive side, we turned the ball over entirely too much and missed a couple of key buckets to gain momentum when it was close. As a coach it is disappointing when you know that your team is capable of competing with a team, but fail to do so. We look forward to our opportunities in the New Franklin Tournament to get a chance to face them again being on the same side of the bracket.
“Over the next two weeks it will be nice to make up for time lost early in the practice season and just focus on us. Going into the break we’ve had some up games and down ones, but overall we all know the areas of improvement that is needed for each of us.”
Blake Darwent had 15 points and Jacob Brooks 14 for Sturgeon.
For Pilot Grove, Bailey Quint tossed in 13 while Dade Christy added seven, Hayden Krumm and Seth Blumhorst each with five and Bo Vinson, Dylan Schupp and Dalton Reuter with two points each.
In the JV game, Pilot Grove defeated Sturgeon 49-43.
The Tigers, 3-2 overall, opened the first half with a 27-23 lead against Sturgeon and then outscored the Bulldogs 22-20 in the second half.
Skaggs said the Tigers were able to jump out to a 16-2 run early with some pressure and gain an early advantage. “As the game progressed, we had some miscues defensively in our help side post defense throughout the night,” Skaggs said. “On a below average perimeter shooting night we were able to maintain control and finish this one out. I felt like we could improve at the free throw line to really stretch the lead out.”
Maddex Douglas had 16 points to lead all scorers for Pilot Grove. Ian Sprick chipped in 11, Logan Goehman 10, Alex Schupp five, Levi Jeffries four and Hank Zeller with three.
For Sturgeon, Tavin Kalinowski had 13 and Ethan Benskin with 10.