Call Sports Editor
VANDALIA — Piqua girls basketball coach Rory Hoke has seen it happen too many times.
Including once earlier this season against Vandalia.
And again Wednesday night at the Vandalia SAC, Piqua was tied in the final two minutes, but the Lady Aviators made the plays down the stretch for a 36-32 victory.
“It seems to be the story of our season,” Hoke said. “We played great defense. We held them to 36 points. If just a few plays go differently. The kids gave a great effort. I couldn’t ask anymore.”
Kayla Schrubb was a force all night in the paint and tied the game twice in the late stages for Piqua.
She had a 3-point play with 4:36 to go to even the game at 28 and tied it a game with 1:50 remaining at 30-30.
“Kayla (Schrubb) and Morgen (Grunkemeyer) really battled for us tonight,” Hoke said. “Between them they had 15 rebounds.”
But, for the fourth straight game, Piqua was under .500 from the line, including 0-for-5 in the finals 1:36.
“It just becomes a confidence thing,” Hoke said. “We just need to find a way to score at the end.”
Autumn Ratliff hit one of two free throws with 54.9 seconds remaining to put Vandalia up 31-30.
After Piqua missed two free throws, Ratliff hit two free throws at the 35.3 mark to make it 33-30.
Schrubb immediately answered at the other end with 27.4 seconds left to make it 33-32.
However, Allyson Frogge got behind Piqua’s press for a layup and the Indians could not score again.
“Vandalia made a couple plays at the end,” Hoke said.
In what was a defensive battle from the start, Piqua led 8-4 after one quarter and 16-14 at half.
Butler took a 24-21 lead after three quarters, before Piqua rallied in the fourth, only to come up short.
Schrubb had 16 points and nine rebounds to lead the Indians, while Morgen Grunkemeyer had seven points and six rebounds.
Katie Allen added six points and five rebounds and Went also grabbed five rebounds.
“I thought Katie (Allen) gave us some really strong guard play,” Hoke said.
Ratliff had a double-double for Vandalia with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Frogge added eight points.
Piqua was 12 of 50 from the floor for 24 percent and seven of 20 from the line for 35 percent.
Vandalia was 13 of 36 from the floor for 36 percent and eight of 10 from the line for 80 percent.
Piqua won the battle of the boards 30-27 and had 13 turnovers to Butler’s 15.
The Lady Indians lost the JV game 44-17, with Carly Brown scoring five points.
Piqua, 5-11 overall and 1-5 in the GWOC North, will travel to Lebanon Saturday for a crossover game.
Hannah Went 0-0-0, Macy Yount 1-0-3, Katie Allen 2-2-6, Morgen Grunkemeyer 3-1-7, Kayla Schrubb 6-4-16, Frannie Haney 0-0-0, Danajha Clemons 0-0-0, Teija Davis 0-0-0, Janise Hummel 0-0-0. Totals: 12-7-32.
Libby Clayton 0-0-0, Shelby Moses 2-1-5, Brittney Petrosky 2-2-6, Allyson Frogge 4-0-8, Autumn Ratliff 3-5-13, Riley Clark 1-0-2, Olivia Schoenherr 1-0-2, Morgan Hixenbaugh 0-0-0, Holly Simones 0-0-0. Totals: 13-8-36.
3-point field goals — Piqua: Yount. Vandalia-Butler: Ratiff (2).
Score By Quarters
Piqua 8 16 21 32
Vandalia 4 14 24 36
Records: Piqua 5-11 (1-5), Vandalia 8-7 (4-2).
Reserve score: Vandalia-Butler 44, Piqua 17.
Rob Kiser can be reached at 773-2721 ext. 209 or on twitter@kuzedawg