Pilot Grove falls to Sweet Springs in Wildcat Classic in Slater

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News

The Pilot Grove boys and girls basketball teams were close on both fronts Thursday night against the Sweet Springs Greyhounds in the Wildcat Classic in Slater.

While the Lady Tigers fell to Sweet Springs in a two-point ballgame 60-58, the Pilot Grove boys also played well in a 56-47 loss to the Greyhounds. 

While the loss dropped Pilot Grove girls to 10-5 on the season, head coach Grant Fricke said that, was the greatest response, to the most adversity, he has ever seen in his life. “To say I am proud is the largest understatement ever,” Fricke said. “I am the luckiest man on earth to be able to call these girls my team. The best game I have ever had the privilege to be a part of, play, coach, or ref.”

The Lady Tigers definitely had their chances while leading Sweet Springs early on 17-11 after one and 34-26 at the half. However, in the third quarter, Sweet Springs outscored the Lady Tigers 16-5 to go up by five at 44-39. But even then Pilot Grove had a chance to win the game and rallied back with a 19-16 advantage in the final period to cut the lead to two. 

Michaela Malter had 31 points to lead all scorers in the game for Sweet Springs. Ryan Johnson chipped in eight.

For Pilot Grove, Grace Phillips led four players in double figures with 13 points. Emma Sleeper and Natalie Glenn each had 12 points while Danae Lammers added 11, Leah Vollrath six and Grace Peterson and Ava Hoff each with two points.

As for the Pilot Grove boys, they also led Sweet Springs 15-13 after first period’s end but was outscored 17-12 in the second quarter to trail at the half 30-27. Meanwhile, after Pilot Grove rallied back with a 10-9 advantage in the third period to cut the lead to two at 39-37, Sweet Springs came back and outscored the Tigers 17-10 in the final period to win the game by nine.

Pilot Grove coach Derek Skaggs said it’s been a tough week with the weather and trying to prepare for the Slater Tournament as we’ve had three different schedules so far. “Now our guys have to be relentless and play three nights in a row,” Skaggs said. “Both of our programs are experiencing adversity at this point and that’s just the type of year it has been. Coach Smith’s program played well and shot a high percentage tonight, credit to them. I thought our guys continued to fight and we stayed in the game, but couldn’t find an edge anywhere in the fourth quarter.”

Cole Lovercamp and Coleman Fogerty each had nine points in the game for Sweet Springs.

For Pilot Grove, who dropped to 6-9 on the season, Bailey Quint finished the game with 15 points. Hayden Krumm added 10 points while Bo Vinson and Dalton Reuter chipped in six each, Dade Christy five, Seth Blumhorst and Dalton Hazlett each with two and Luke Kollmeyer with one.