By Rob Kiser
Piqua boys basketball coach Heath Butler couldn’t have scripted it any better.
With it being Senior Night at Garbry Gymnasium and coming in off three tough losses, the Indians blitzed Greenville 55-29 over the final three quarters for a 66-45 victory to give Indian seniors Colton Bachman, Nash Black, Tyren Cox, C.J. Davis, Derrick Gullett, Brady Hill and Bradley Hohlbein a night to remember.
It dropped Greenville to 11-7 and 5-3 and improved Piqua to 10-9 and 4-4.
“I couldn’t be prouder of these guys,” Butler said. “Brady Hill started and hit the big three early. Bradley (Hohlbein) had some big baskets, Gulley (Derrick Gullett) had a big and one was battling all game. Colty (Colton Bachman) had a solid game. CJ Davis did a great job on the boards. Nash Black and Tyren Cox came off the bench and did a great job.”
It was a much needed win for the Indians.
“You just can’t break these guys (the seniors) bond,” Hohlbein said. “Our bond is incredible. I love these guys. This was just incredible tonight.”
Even more amazing was the way Piqua’s defense and pushing the tempo on offense completely turned the game.
With Isaiah Gable scoring six points in the opening quarter and Clay Guillozet adding five, the Wave led 16-11 after the opening quarter.
But, Piqua took a 24-20 halftime lead by holding Greenville to one of nine shooting in the second quarter — then outscored the Wave 42-25 in the second half.
“I was certainly hoping for a win,” Hohlbein, who paced the Indians with 23 points as Piqua avenged an earlier 73-62 loss at Greenville, said. “I really didn’t expect anything like this.”
Gullett had an eight-point third quarter as Piqua opened a 48-31 lead by outscoring Greenville 25-11, while Hohlbein had five in a 15-point second half.
Bachman converted three of four free throws on a foul and technical on the Greenville bench early in the fourth quarter to take the lead to 20 and Greenville removed most of its starters from the game shortly after.
“When we got the lead, we buried them,” Butler said. “We didn’t let up.”
The circumstances made the win particularly sweet.
“We knew this was going to be a tough stretch,” Butler said. “We could have packed it in after the last three games and just got ready for the tournament — but they didn’t do that. Tonight is probably the first time we have put four quarters together all year.”
Bachman added 14 points to the Piqua cause, while Gullett, Davis and Bachman all had five rebounds.
Gable had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds for Greenville, while Devin Hendrix scored 12 points and Guillozet added nine points each.
Piqua was 24 of 52 from the floor and 12 of 14 from the line, while Greenville was 17 of 42 from the floor and five of nine from the line.
The Indians won the battle of the boards 26-15 and had just three turnovers to Greenville’s 10.
Piqua now plays at Milton-Union tonight, before hosting Vandalia-Butler Tuesday and playing at Troy Friday.
While that might look like a chance to make a run, Butler knows the Indians can’t take it for granted.
“We have to come back with the same focus against Milton-Union,” Butler said. “Vandalia has been playing everybody tough and the Troy game is Troy’s senior night. So, we have to be ready.”
And it will be tough for the seniors to top what they did Friday night.
Devin Hendrix 5-1-12, Peter Pandey 3-0-7, Clay Guillozet 3-2-9, Aaron Rich 1-1-3, Isaiah Gable 5-0-13, Trae Wood 0-0-0, Braden Russel 0-0-0, Yuta Nakamura 0-1-1, Chris Force 0-0-0. Totals: 17-5-45.
Bradley Hohlbein 8-6-23, Brady Hill 1-0-3, Derrick Gullett 3-1-8, CJ Davis 2-2-6, Colton Bachman 5-3-14, Nash Black 0-0-0, Ben Schmiesing 3-0-7, Nate Monnin 1-0-2, Caleb Patton 0-0-0, Tyren Cox 0-0-0, Hunter Hawk 0-0-0, Cameron Ashton 0-0-0, Gage Smith 1-0-3, JJ Rohrbach 0-0-0. Totals: 24-12-66.
3-point field goals — Greenville: Hendrix, Pandey, Guillozet, Gable (3). Piqua: Hohlbein, Hill, Gullett, Bachman, Schmieisng, Smith.
Score By Quarters
Greenville 16 20 31 45
Piqua 11 24 48 66
Records: Greenville 11-7 (5-3), Piqua 10-9 (4-4).
Reserve score: Greenville 51, Piqua 50.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor at the Piqua Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.