The Skyline boys’ basketball team didn’t have its best defensive game of the season and when left open, rival Pioneer made them pay. The Pioneers made 24 of 40 shots, including knocking down 8 of 13 triples, to knock out the Eagles 67-57 on Friday night at Pioneer.
The win avenged an earlier 58-37 loss at Skyline for a Pioneer team clearly getting better as the season dribbles along.
Skyline led 5-0 before Pioneer scored 11 straight to go up 11-5. The Eagles battled back some to end the first quarter down 17-13. Skyline played a much better second quarter but still struggled knocking down shots and trailed 29-28 at halftime.
Pioneer’s Aidan Lee hit three three-point baskets in the first 1:20 of the second half giving the home team a quick nine points to take command of the game. After a time out, the Eagles battled all the way back to make it a one-point game at the end of the third quarter.
Each team scored 16 points in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Eagles took some bad shots and went 1 of 7 from three-point range. Meanwhile, Pioneer stayed hot and stretched the lead to double digits, outscoring the visitors 22-13 in the final period.
Pioneer outrebounded Skyline 29-19 and overcame 22 turnovers.
“We needed a much better defensive effort from all five players,” said Skyline Coach Mike Lovelace. “They got uncontested shots that they made. I felt like we took way too many defensive possessions off as a whole group and they made us pay and then we had to really push to try and catch up in many parts of the game.”
Skyline shot 39 percent from the floor with 4 of 16 from three-point range.
Lee made 5 of 6 shots, including 3 of 4 three pointers, to lead Pioneer with 17 points. Koebe Moore (5 of 8 shooting) and Rasheed Sampson (6 of 8 shooting) each had 15 points and four rebounds. Mac VanRenterghem (4 of 5 shooting) had 11 points and dished off a team-high eight assists. Conor Easthope had four points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Chris Cayton made 8 of 14 shots and knocked down 7 of 8 free throws to finish with a game-high 23 points. The Skyline junior guard scored a game-high 18 points in the first meeting of the season back on Jan. 14.
Jack Williams also had a strong game for the Eagles. He finished with 14 points, including three triples. Kabir Bergin and Dinalli DeLoach each scored seven for Skyline.
Skyline hosts Monroe on Tuesday and city-rival Huron on Friday.
Pioneer hosts Saline on Tuesday and Bedford on Friday night.