By Robbin Kiser
January 3, 2014
Piqua boys basketball coach Heath Butler knew the Indians would be in for a challenge Friday night at Garbry Gymnasium.
And he knew it was the biggest game his young team had faced.
The Indians could maintain a share of the GWOC North lead with a win over the Wave.
But, Greenville showed why they are considered one of the top two teams in the GWOC North, opening a double-digit lead in the second quarter and cruising to a 59-37 win over the Indians.
The Wave was simply too quick, too athletic and ran their offense to perfect all night.
“Make no mistake, Greenville is a really good team,” Butler said. “They played Trotwood to 10 points into the fourth quarter. They may end up pushing them for the title — that’s how good they are.”
And the game swung in a blur, with Piqua not able to handle Greenville defensive pressure after opening a 7-4 lead on the Wave midway through the first quarter.
Greenville score 17 unanswered points, including 15 straight to close the quarter — giving the Wave a 21-7 lead.
Piqua had six first quarter turnovers — most in the backcourt — and Clay Guillozet, Zach Comer and Cody Preston all scored four points during the run.
Aaron Baulsbaugh hit a three to close the quarter, then started the second with putback to complete the run.
“You talk about Xs and Os and what defense and offense you are going to run,” Butler said. “Tonight was as simple as not being able to make a pass against their pressure. It was as simple as that.”
The Indians still trailed 30-19 at halftime and fell behind by 20 early in the third quarter.
“We never recovered,” Butler said. “But, Greenville is a very good basketball team. These kids are resilient. They will bounce back this and come back strong Tuesday against Trotwood.”
Colton Bachman scored 18 points for Piqua and Dan Monnin added 10 points and seven rebounds. Midway through the fourth quarter, the duo had 28 of Piqua’s 33 points at that time.
“We can’t (have only two people scoring),” Butler said. “But again, that was a product of us not being able to make passes against their defense.”
Greenville countered that with a balanced attack, putting four players in double figures.
Baulsbaugh had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds, while Comer paced the scoring with 14 points.
Guillozet netted 12 and Allen Tabler added 11.
Piqua was 14 of 50 from the floor for 28 percent and three of six from the line for 50 percent.
Greenville was 24 of 40 from the floor for 60 percent and six of 10 from the line for a matching 60 percent.
The Wave won the battle of the boards 24-22 and had just 11 turnovers to Piqua’s 16.
Bradley Hohlbein’s basket with 36 seconds to go gave the Piqua JVs a 33-31 victory.
Nash Black scored 11 points and Brandon Hohlbein added nine.
“This was a big game,” Butler said about the varsity game. “I think we were just trying to hard. We just needed to relax.”
Which the Indians hope to do in their next big challenge Tuesday, when Trotwood visits.