By Rob Kiser
TROY — Both Piqua and Troy boys basketball teams played games similar to their GWOC North victories Tuesday.
As a result, Troy’s defense was good enough to earn a 55-50 victory over Piqua and a split in the season series, while the Indians shooting woes continued as a four-game winning streak was snapped to close the regular season.
Piqua missed a layup off the opening tip and went 1-for-12 from the first quarter, a sign of things to come.
The Indians went more than six minutes before their first field goal — a jumper by Colton Bachman — and were fortunate to trail just 9-7 after the opening quarter.
Piqua seemed to right things in the second quarter, outscoring Troy 20-13 to take a 27-22 halftime lead.
But, the second half was dominated by the Trojans.
Austin Persinger and Austin Funderburg — playing some of their best basketball in their final home game — combined for 10 points in the paint in the third quarter as the Trojans surged to a 40-35 lead.
Derrick Gullett tried to keep Piqua in the game, scoring seven of the Indians eight points in the third quarter.
And while Piqua managed to match Troy with 15 points in the fourth quarter, that number was a little deceiving.
Bachman hit a couple long 3-pointers in the final 20 seconds to make the final outcome closer, as Troy had an 8-to-10 point lead much of the quarter.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Troy led 46-35 as the Trojans defense had held Piqua to 11 second-half points in almost 12 minutes of play. The Trojans maintained their advantage from there.
Bachman led Piqua with 21 points, while Gullett added 13.
Monnin grabbed 13 rebounds — almost half of the Piqua boards for the night.
Romello Yaqub finished with 21 points to lead Troy, while Mechia Linton scored 11 and Persinger added seven points and 10 rebounds.
For the second straight game Piqua struggled from 3-point range. The Indians were 6-for-29 Friday night and are 9-for-43 for the last two games from behind the arc.
After shooting 33 percent from the floor in Tuesday’s win over Vandalia, Friday’s numbers were similar.
Piqua was 16 of 46 from the floor for 35 percent and 12 of 15 from the line for 80 percent.
Troy was 21 of 46 from the floor for 46 percent and nine of 16 from the line for 56 percent.
Both teams grabbed 29 rebounds and Piqua had 13 turnovers to Troy’s 10.
Troy finishes the regular season 8-14 overall and 4-6 in the GWOC North and will open tournament play against Xenia on Friday night.
Piqua, 12-10 overall and 5-5 in the GWOC North, will play Beavercreek at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 20 at Trotwood-Madison High School.
Bradley Hohlbein 1-0-2, Derrick Gullett 5-2-13, Nate Monnin 2-0-5, CJ Davis 2-0-5, Colton Bachman 5-9-21, Ben Schmiesing 0-0-0, Brady Hill 0-1-1, Tyren Cox 1-0-3, Caleb Patton 0-0-0, Hunter Hawk 0-0-0. Totals: 16-12-50.
Romello Yaqub 6-7-21, Estevan Stafford 0-0-0, Trey Bucio 3-0-6, Austin Funderburg 2-0-4, Mechia Linton 5-1-11, Ryan McClurg 1-0-3, Austin Persinger 3-1-7, DeMarcus Moody 0-0-0, Keenan Kinnel 1-0-3, Zach Reichelderfer 0-0-0. Totals: 21-9-55.
3-point field goals — Piqua: Gullett, Monnin, Davis, Bachman (2), Cox. Troy: Yaqub (2), McClurg, Kinnel.
Score By Quarters
Piqua 7 27 35 50
Troy 9 22 40 55
Records: Piqua 12-10 (5-5), Troy 8-14 (4-6).
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.