Pilot Grove takes two from Tigers
PILOT GROVE -- Defending CCAA boys' basketball champion Pilot Grove indicated during Monday's season opener that it had no intention of easily relinquishing its crown, least of all to Malta Bend.
The host Tigers jumped all over the visiting Tigers to build a 30-point halftime spread and coasted to an 83-43 victory. Senior Trey Schibi scored 10 of his game-high 21 points during the first quarter, giving Pilot Grove (1-0, 1-0 CCAA) a 22-13 lead.
"I didn't have the boys ready offensively," conceded Malta Bend head coach David Menning. "I will take the blame for this one."
That margin only grew during the second period, a 30-point explosion for the purple Tigers behind four buckets by junior Brett Twenter. Sophomore Jacob Schuster nailed a pair of three-pointers during the third frame, the gap widening by 12 more points.
Senior Ryan Armstrong topped Malta Bend (0-1, 0-1) with 21 points and eight rebounds, while junior Tyler Armstrong added 11 points.
The girls' game was as ugly as Pilot Grove's 50-8 romp made it appear to be. The Lady Tigers, like the boys' club, is coming off a league title -- also with a 12-0 record, although losing four starters to graduation.
Grove opened with a 12-0 first quarter and led 27-5 at intermission. The visiting Lady Tigers (0-1, 0-1) had only eight shots from the field -- senior Jerrian Johnson making both of their field goals, from three-point range -- and were two of 13 from the free-throw line while committing 40 turnovers.
"We just have to take better shots and more of them," Menning said. "Pilot Grove is too good of a team to take only eight shots and expect to have a chance."
Junior Whitney Wessing put together a solid all-around performance for the home crowd -- pacing the Lady Tigers (1-0, 1-0) with 12 points, seven rebounds, four steals and three assists.
Malta Bend will be back in action Monday with a non-conference tilt at Stet.