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Bunceton, Pilot Grove survive and advance in Class 1 District 9 Tournament

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
Pilot Grove’s Marci Lammers shoots over a Northwest player in the first half Saturday in the opening round of the Class 1 District 9 Tournament in Pilot Grove.
Bunceton’s Maddie Brandes puts up a shot near the basket in the fourth quarter Saturday against Sedalia Sacred Heart in the opening round of the Class 1 District 9 Tournament in Bunceton.

The Bunceton with Prairie Home girls and Pilot Grove Lady Tigers made it look almost too easy Saturday in the opening round of the Class 1 District 9 Tournament.

With the higher seeds hosting the first round of the tournament, No. 2 Bunceton defeated Sedalia Sacred Heart 47-16 while fourth-seeded Pilot Grove upended Northwest of Hughesville 42-31.

Of course it will get significantly tougher in the next round for both teams, as the Lady Tigers travel to play top-seeded Leeton on Tuesday, Feb. 23, while Bunceton goes on the road to face No. 2 Otterville.

The Lady Dragons, 17-5 on the season, outscored or matched Sacred Heart in all four quarters on Saturday while leading 13-1 after one, 22-5 at the break and 36-5 after three. Meanwhile, in the final period, Bunceton matched Sacred Heart with 11 points.

Bunceton coach Dustin Ray said the girls shot extremely cold from the field, but still had enough to win. “We were very active on the defensive end of the court and caused a lot of disruption to their offensive game plan,” Ray said. “Moving forward, we see a tough team in this next round. I believe we have what it takes and so do the girls. I look to see some sparks fly on Tuesday.”

Madison Brown had the game-high for Bunceton with 17 points along with nine rebounds, two assists and one steal. Maddie Brandes finished the game with a double-double with 14 points, 16 rebounds and two steals while Maggie Wood added eight points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals, Kelsey Watson six points, seven assists, five rebounds and four steals, Madelynn Myers two points, four rebounds, four steals and one assist and Kylee Myers with five rebounds, one steal and one assist.

For Sacred Heart, Emily Hesse had the team high with seven points.

As for the Pilot Grove Lady Tigers, they outscored Northwest of Hughesville in three out of the four quarters and led 14-7 after one and 25-11 at the half. Meanwhile, in the third period, the Lady Mustangs had their best quarter of the ballgame by holding a 14-10 scoring edge to cut the lead to 10 at 35-25. However, in the final period, Pilot Grove came back and outscored Northwest 7-6 to win the game by 11.

Pilot Grove coach Grant Fricke said this was the third game in three days for the girls.

“This was a good, hard fought, physical game,” Fricke said. “Northwest really has a bright future with their starting five being all freshmen. We did our best to take away Karli Smith and she still managed a game high 17. She is a tough player and has some good size to her. She is also skilled with her footwork and ballhandling. We did enough to come away with the victory. Survive and advance. On to Leeton Tuesday.”

Emma Sleeper was the only player in double figures for Northwest with 11 points. Natalie Glenn chipped in nine while Grace Phillips and Marci Lammers added seven points each, Danae Lammers five, Leah Vollrath two and Grace Peterson with one.

For Northwest, Karli Smith had 17 points.