by David Gregorich
For the Pharos-Tribune
ROYAL CENTER —
Pioneer’s boys basketball team took down a ranked opponent Saturday night.
The Panthers defeated Class A No. 6 Kouts 68-49.
Pioneer won its fifth game in a row, remained unbeaten at home and improved to 6-2 overall handing the Mustangs (7-1) their first loss of season.
Pioneer started the game on fire, scoring 28 points in the first quarter. Nineteen of those points came courtesy of sophomore Carter Skaggs, who had five 3-point baskets to help the Panthers take an early 28-9 lead after one.
“It was all because of great team play really,” Skaggs said. “I thought we did a good job offensively and the guys were able to find me for some open shots.”
Pioneer continued its dominance in the second quarter, outscoring Kouts 24-17 and took a happy 52-26 lead into halftime.
“That was huge, I thought we were able to get the momentum in our court early and that helps when you’re playing a team of that caliber,” Pioneer coach Pat Skaggs said. “I also thought we had a great crowd that really helped ignite us there in the first half.”
Pioneer’s offensive fire began to die down in the second half as Kouts was able to slow down Pioneer’s hot shooters. Kouts outscored Pioneer 23-16 in the final two quarters of play, but the lopsided first half was too much for the Mustangs to overcome as Pioneer won by 19.
“I thought it was great team win and it is definitely exciting to beat a ranked team,” Pioneer senior Dillon Stanton said.
Carter Skaggs finished with 24 points for the Panthers after the 19-point first-quarter explosion. The 6-foot-4 sophomore added seven rebounds and two assists.
Seniors Brandon Scruggs and Clayton Harvey were also in double figures adding 13 and 16 points, respectively. Harvey added 11 boards for the double-double.
“I thought Clayton had a big night for us,” Pat Skaggs said.
Senior Matt Dorris scored nine points to go along with four assists and five rebounds. Mitchell Williams added four points along with three assists and nine rebounds, and Stanton made two free throws to finish out Pioneer’s scoring.
The Mustangs were led by Max Everaert who had 20 points.
The Panthers will get back into Midwest Conference play when they travel to Frontier on Jan. 4.