Tigers have one bad quarter against No. 1 Leeton in 63-55 loss

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News

The Pilot Grove Tigers basketball team was right there for two quarters against Leeton Wednesday night in the semifinal round of the Class 1 District 9 Tournament at Leeton.

Down 31-29 against the top-seeded Bulldogs was a momentum builder the say the least for Pilot Grove.

The Tigers had also outscored the Bulldogs 22-8 in the first even though Leeton turned the tables in the second period with a 23-7 advantage.

But then the third quarter happened as the Tigers struggled offensively while Leeton put up 22 points. That proved to be the difference despite a fourth quarter surge by Pilot Grove in which the Tigers outscored the Bulldogs 13-10 in a 63-55 loss.

While the loss closed out Pilot Grove’s season at 10-15 overall, head coach Derek Skaggs said he felt the team was prepared and the boys were ready.

“It would have been nice to just have one more day, but for the most part we knew what we were going to have to do,” Skaggs said. “We had to go into state-ranked No. 6 Leeton’s place and we got the exact start we wanted. We knew we had to force them to struggle early and did that by out scoring them 22-8 in the first. We contained their three-point arsenal and boarded. However, they woke up and came to life flipping the second quarter. From there it was just to the point they wore us out. They extended full court and we struggled a bit but fought back to four or five late with some great bench production. Unfortunately, we only had two team fouls at that point in which we had to start fouling not to our benefit. Leeton’s club this year is one of the best in Class 1. Coach Mills is a great coach and friend. I truly believe they will be in the Final Four this year. Our guys left it on the floor, and we wish another great group of seniors the best to their next chapter in life.”

Daniel Warner had 21 and Noah Schrivner 19 for Leeton.

For Pilot Grove, Hayden Krumm had 22, Bailey Quint 12, Dade Christy 9, Dalton Hazlett 4, Dylan Schupp and Dalton Reuter three each and Seth Blumhorst with two.