by Beau Wicker
Not to be lost amid the chaos, Pioneer’s boys basketball team might have put together its best game of the season.
In a game marred by four technical fouls and an intentional foul called against Carroll, the Panthers went to work on both ends of the court and came away with an 86-43 victory on the road.
The Panthers, who dropped out of the Class A top 10 this week, made their case to be back in the rankings as they improved to 10-3. Carroll dropped to 7-6.
For the second straight night Pioneer sophomore Carter Skaggs set a new career high in scoring. The lanky 6-foot-4 lefty had 34 points on the night to lead four Panthers in double figures. Matt Dorris scored 12, Brandon Scruggs had 11 points and eight assists and Mitchell Williams had 10 points.
“I’m obviously very proud of our guys,” Pioneer coach Pat Skaggs said. “I thought we had another solid night on the defensive end of the floor, and offensively again I thought we played as a team and moved the ball and hit the open man. We talked to the guys about it starts on the defensive end, and I thought our guys came out ready to compete, knew it was going to be a physical game, and I thought our guys were ready right from the tip.
“I thought our kids really stepped up this weekend with their effort and intensity.”
Pioneer led 47-32 with 2:41 remaining in the third quarter when Carroll coach Matt Weaver was called for a double technical foul and was ejected from the game while arguing a foul call. Carter Skaggs hit all four free throws to push the lead to 19, and later in the quarter another tech was called that Pioneer converted into another four-point play, and the Panthers led 59-34 after three.
The fourth quarter didn’t go much better for the Cougars, who had an intentional foul called on them to open the quarter and another tech about midway through the frame, when the Panthers started emptying their bench with a 77-38 lead with four minutes to go.
When all the damage was done, the Panthers scored on three four-point possessions and a five-point possession on the technical and intentional foul calls.
Pioneer went 27 of 30 from the foul line for the game. Carter Skaggs was 14 of 14. He was 4 of 10 from 3-point range a night after going 6 of 8 from distance in a 31-point performance against West Central.
Jarin Bush scored 13 points to lead Carroll, and Brandon Dillon was also in double figures with 11. Eric Miller added seven.
Alex Boonstra scored seven points off the bench for Pioneer, and Clayton Harvey added six.