By Rob Kiser
The Piqua boys basketball team could maintain the momentum from a fast start as Wapakoneta used hot shooting to pull away to a 71-54 victory Tuesday at Garbry Gymnasium.
The game had started with a dunk by Colton Bachman on a rebound-assist from Derrick Gullett and Piqua opened an early 9-4 lead by scoring in transition and with Gullett hitting a three.
But, from that point on, the hot shooting of Wapakoneta dominated the game.
Wapakoneta outscored Piqua 31-15 the rest of the half to take a 35-24 lead at the break.
Jarrett Koch hit two threes in the first quarter for the Redskins and Michael Burton hit one.
Ethan Good buried three from long range in the second quarter, the final one just before the halftime buzzer.
Burton had a 3-point play to start the second half and put Piqua down by 14.
After the Indians got back within nine, Wapak immediately opened the lead back up to 14.
Nate Monnin gave Piqua its only spark of the second half late in the third quarter.
He had a putback on a missed free throw, then stole the ball and dunked it to get the Indians within 45-36 going to the fourth quarter.
Monnin had another basket to start the fourth quarter and Brady Hill hit a three to get Piqua within 45-41 and bring the Piqua fans to life.
But, the momentum was short-lived as the Redskins would outscore Piqua 30-9 the rest of the way.
Aaron Huffman answered with a three and would score 10 quick points, including another three and Good added a three of his own as the lead quickly surged back to double digits.
Monnin led Piqua with 21 points and nine rebounds, while Bachman had 13 points.
Koch paced Wapakoneta with 22 points and good added 21.
Huffman scored 16 and Burton added 10.
Piqua was 22 of 47 from the floor and six of 11 from the line, while Wapakoneta was 24 of 44 from the floor, including 11 threes, and a perfect 12-for-12 from the line.
Wapak won the battle of the boards 17-16 and had 12 turnovers to Piqua’s 10.
Piqua lost the JV game 45-36.
Nick Rigola led the Indians with 12 points.
Things won’t get any easier for Piqua Friday, when the Indians travel to Trotwood-Madison for the GWOC North opener.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.