By Rob Kiser
The Piqua boys basketball team took care of business Tuesday night.
Now comes a big GWOC North game with Sidney Friday at Garbry Gymnasium, before traveling to Elida Saturday night for non-conference action.
In the nightcap of the GWOC Showcase games, rescheduled from Tuesday, the Indians cruised to a 67-38 win over West Carrollton to improve to 3-2.
The Indians jumped out to a 19-7 first quarter lead and were never seriously challenged.
Colton Bachman, who averages more than 20 points a game, led Piqua with 19, while Bradley Hohlbein added 14.
“It would have been easy to be looking ahead to the Sidney game,” Piqua coach Heath Butler said. “I was proud of the way the kids came back after a tough game with Trotwood-Madison last Friday night. I thought we executed well at times and there were other times when we didn’t.
“But, it is never easy on a Tuesday night. Any time you can come out on a Tuesday night and beat a GWOC team, that is a good thing.”
Butler knows that Piqua, 0-1 in the GWOC North, must have a win Friday when Sidney, 6-1 after Tuesday’s win over Wapakoneta and 1-0 in the GWOC North visits.
“It is at home,” Butler said. “In a league as wide open as the North, you have to be able to protect the home court. Sidney is coming in here with just one loss. We can’t afford to go to 0-2 in the North. If you dig yourself a hole in this league, it is going to be hard to dig out.”
Sidney has been a three-headed monster so far this season.
Six-foot freshman Andre Gordon likes to penetrate, averaging 14.8 points and 4.8 assists.
Cameron Gallimore, a 5-10 senior and Lorenzo Taborn, a 6-4 senior, are averaging 12.2 and 11.0 points per game. Taborn also averages 5.7 rebounds.
Piqua counters with Bachman, a 6-4 senior, 6-2 senior Hohlbein, who averages a little over 10 a game and 6-3 junior Nate Monnin, who averages just under 10 points per game and 8.8 rebounds.
“Sidney has three players that make them go,” Butler said. “You have to pick your poison. Do you take away the three and allow Grodon the driving lanes — or do you take away the driving lanes and allow Gallimore and Taborn to shoot the three.”
Butler knows Sidney is going to push the tempo at every opportunity.
“We have to be able to handle their pressure,” Butler said. “We need to do that and rebound — we can’t afford to give Sidney any easy baskets.”
The Indians will follow that up by traveling to Elida on Saturday.
“They have some kids who can shoot the ball and play,” Butler said. “They are just like all the WBL teams. It is a typical GWOC-WBL crossover game. They are a lot like Wapakoneta. You know those teams are going to come out and play hard and you have to match that intensity. No matter what happens Friday night, we have to put that behind us and be refocused for Elida.”
And take care of business — like they did Tuesday night.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.