Pilot Grove boys upend Santa Fe, 52-18

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News

After playing two of the top teams in the CAC the week before, the Pilot Grove boys basketball team found the perfect bounce back game Monday night at home by beating the Santa Fe Chiefs 52-18.

The Tigers, improving to 5-8 on the season, opened the first half with a 28-10 lead against Santa Fe and then outscored the Chiefs 24-8 in the second half to win by 34.

“We had come off of a tough week versus two of our top teams in the CAC with Slater and Cairo and I thought we did a good job of getting our feet back under us tonight,” said Pilot Grove coach Derek Skaggs. We have had very few nights where we didn’t have our backs against the wall so it was great for us to gain an early advantage and loosen up a bit. This is the type of energy that we need to carry into Friday night’s Homecoming game versus Macks Creek.”

Hayden Krumm led the scoring attack in the game for Pilot Grove with 14 points. Dade Christy chipped in 12 while Dylan Schupp added seven, Bailey Quint six, Logan Goehman three and Bo Vinson, Dalton Reuter, Seth Blumhorst, Dalton Hazlett and Ian Sprick each with two.

For Santa Fe, Parker Tieman had five points.

In the JV boys game, Pilot Grove defeated Santa Fe 39-30.

The Tigers, 6-2 on the season, finished the first half tied with Santa Fe at 16-all and then outscored the Chiefs 23-14 in the second half.

Pilot Grove coach Derek Skaggs said the Tigers took a tough loss Saturday versus Cairo in a competitive conference JV game and picked themselves up versus Santa Fe. "We had some struggles defensively at times, but we are going to have those when playing young," Skaggs said. "Their continued experience on the court has been nice for this group."

Ian Sprick and Maddex Douglas each had 12 points in the game for Pilot Grove. Logan Goehman finished the game with four while Alex Schupp, Levi Jeffries and Hayden Sleeper added three points each and Waylan Christy with two.

As for the Pilot Grove girls basketball team, they fell at home against Santa Fe 53-43.

The Lady Tigers, dropping to 9-4 on the season, trailed Santa Fe 23-16 at the half and 39-21 after three quarters of play. However, in the final period, Pilot Grove outscored Santa Fe 22-14.

Pilot Grove coach Grant Fricke said this was a very hard fought game that they ended up losing.

“However, it is definitely one of those games that you’re happy to play in, because win, lose or draw, you got better,” Fricke said. “Santa Fe is a very long and athletic team. Our game plan was to limit Bella Limback as much as possible by double teaming her whenever she was in the post. We managed to hold her to only seven points, but she impacted the game in other ways, with her rebounding and shot blocking. She probably had a double-double in rebounds and blocks, if she didn’t it had to have been close. While our defensive attention was always on her, the rest of the team stepped up. Nine different girls score for Santa Fe tonight. It’s hard to beat a team that has that many players who are a threat to score. On the offensive end of things, we struggled to score. Santa Fe held us to just 21 points in the first-three quarters. Then, in the fourth, we finally came alive and made as good of a push as could manage, but by then we ran out of time. If we can manage to take care of our end of the bracket in matchups against Carrollton, and potentially Sweet Springs, I have no doubt we will see Santa Fe in the championship game at Slater. We look forward to the challenge.”

Grace Phillips and Natalie Glenn each had 11 points in the game for Pilot Grove. Marci Lammers and Emma Sleeper finished the game with eight points each while Leah Vollrath chipped in five.

For Santa Fe, Lexi Lark and Atleigh Lark each had 10 points while Bella Limback added seven.

In the game Saturday against Cairo, the Lady Tigers prevailed in a close game 60-55.

The Lady Tigers trailed Cairo 33-23 at the half but rallied back with a 37-22 advantage in the second half for the win.

Fricke said he would like to personally thank everyone in the crowd who came to see their game tonight.

“They had a huge impact of inserting energy into the game and the girls needed that,” Fricke said. “We played a hard fought first quarter 16-14, but then looked tired and out of rhythm in the second, only scoring seven to Cairo’s 19. We responded well in the third, cutting into the lead and making it a two possession ball game, 46-42. The crowd came alive late and gave us that much needed boost. We got some big buckets in that fourth and were able to hit enough free throws to close it out, going 7 for 15. We need to improve that percentage, but 7 for 15 got the job done when we went 13 for 31 on the night. 

“Now that the crowd showed they can get loud for us this is my challenge to them to come with that energy from the jump, because we have probably our toughest test to date against Santa Fe on Monday. It’s tough being able to manufacture energy on the court in a difficult season because of COVID. It was an awesome moment to have when the crowd got noisy and it was a great game to be a part of because of it. I know I’ve missed it from a coaching standpoint, to be able to coach momentum to the girls and have them realize they have it in those moments, and the girls were talking about it post game how they loved it. We truly did have home court advantage because of it. After Santa Fe we have homecoming on Friday against Mack’s Creek and really expect them to get loud for that one. This was game one of a three game home stand we have, and what an opportunity it is. The girls are putting on a pretty good show every night and I couldn’t be more proud of them. On to the next one.”

Emma Sleeper had the game high for Pilot Grove with 17 points. Grace Phillips and Marci Lammers chipped in 12 points each while Natalie Glenn added nine, Danae Lammers six and Grace Peterson and Leah Vollrath each with two.

For Cairo, Gracie Brumley had 14 points and Quincy Wiggand with 11.