If a basketball team ever defined “Jekyll and Hyde”, it is this year’s Piqua boys squad.
The one thing you know for certain is you are going to get two pretty good quarters of basketball every night — figuring out when is the trick.
And Saturday’s “encore” against St. Marys topped Friday’s win, when the Indians opened a 25-9 after a quarter and a half and held on to win 46-35.
This time, the Indians found themselves in a 42-27 hole with a little over six minutes remaining, before using a 20-1 tear to rally for a 49-47 victory to improve to 7-4 on the season.
“We would be really good (if they put four quarters together),” Piqua sophomore Colton Bachman said. “But, the great thing about this team is we never stop believing. We never quit.”
And it still took several big plays in the final minute to finish off a wild comeback.
“The great thing about it is everybody contributed in some way,” Butler said. “Xavier (Harrison) hits a big shot and forces a turnover, Derrick Gullett hits a big shot, you can go down the list.”
Piqua still trailed 43-42 with a little over a minute reamining when Harrison was able to knock the ball loose near midcourt.
Bachman was fouled at the other end and calmly sank two free throws to put Piqua up 44-43 with :56 remaining.
After St. Marys missed a 10-foot jumper, Harrison grabbed the rebound.
Piqua just beat the 10-second count — but Dan Monnin was able to drive for a layup attempt and was fouled with 27.9 seconds remaining.
“Dan (Monnin) came off the bench tonight and gave us some big minutes,” Butler saaid. “That was a heads-up play.”
After making the first attempt to make it 45-43, Monnin missed on the second attempt.
Bachman grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled, hitting two free throws to make it 47-43.
“Probably the biggest rebound of the game,” Butler said. “That’s the thing, even when they were not hitting, guys found other ways to contribute.”
It went just the way Bachman had envisioned.
“I was hoping if he missed, it was off the front iron (of the rim),” Bachman said. “I was hoping it would bounce right to me. With my height advantage, I was able to jump up and grab it.”
Isaac Fitzgerald hit a big three for St. Marys to get the Roughriders within 48-47 with five seconds to go.
But, Cook hit one of two free throws at 4.6 second mark and St. Marys missed a mid-court shot at the buzzer.
“At first (when they were down 42-27), we were trying to do everything ourselves,” Bachman said. “Coach Butler called a timeout and calmed us down and we just started working together.”
Piqua was leading 10-6 after one quarter.
But, using a patient, balanced attack, St. Marys outscored the Indians 32-17 in the middle two quarters and added the first four points of the fourth quarter to make it 42-27 and seemingly seal Piqua’s fate.
“I expected a little bit of a hangover after the win over Troy,” Butler said. “But, I never expected it to last that long.”
Harrison’s third three of the night got Piqua started and the Indians never let up.
“Xavier was almost getting to the point of frustration,” Butler said. “But, he hit the big shot and his defense on (Marquis) Wilson was the difference. That kid really hurt us in the first half and Xavier really stepped up on defense in the second half. Tonight was just amazing.”
Piqua made 10 of 12 free throws in the final quarter, with Bachman and Cook combining to go 9-for-11.
Bachman finished with 17 points, while Harrison had nine points and nine rebounds.
Fitzgerald had 13 points and six rebounds for St. Marys.
Nathan Wilker had 12 points and Wilson added 11 points and six rebounds.
Piqua was 17 of 37 from the floor for 46 percent and 11 of 13 from the line for 84 percent.
St. Marys was 16 of 41 from the floor for 39 percent and 10 of 15 from the line for 67 percent.
Piqua won the battle of the board 22-19, but had 15 turnovers to the Roughriders 14.
Nate Monnin scored 13 points as the Piqua JVs won 47-42.
Brandon Holhlbein scored eight, while Bradley Hohlbein and CJ Davis both netted seven.
“Yes, you would like to see them play four quarters like that,” Butler said about the Piqua comeback. “But, these kids never give up. And they found a way to get two wins this weekend.”
Because they never stop believing.
St. Marys (47)
Marquis Wilson 4-3-11, Nathan Wilker 3-5-12, Isaac Fitzgerald 5-0-13, Derek Jay 1-0-3, Quinn Zarr 3-2-8, Josh Young 0-0-0, Zach Wilker 0-0-0, Jared Knous 0-0-0, Dirk Fenwick 0-0-0. Totals: 16-10-47.
Tate Honeycutt 2-0-4, Xavier Harrison 3-0-9, Colton Bachman 6-5-17, Storm Cook 1-5-7, Ryan Neal 1-0-2, Erik Vondenhuevel 1-0-2, Dan Monnin 2-1-5, Derrick Gullett 1-0-3. Totals: 17-11-49.
3-point field goals — St. Marys: Wilker, Fitzgerald (3), Jay. Piqua: Harrison (3), Gullett.
Score By Quarters
St. Marys6 22 38 47
Piqua 10 16 27 49
Records: Piqua 7-4, St. Marys 5-6.
Reserve score: Piqua 47, St. Marys 42.