By Rob Kiser
VANDALIA — Coming off their best offfensive game of the season in Friday’s 75-62 win over Stebbins, Piqua went the opposite direction Tuesday night against Vandalia-Butler.
It looked like the Indians were shooting at a target the size of a thimble — while Vandalia shooting at something the size of an ocean.
The net result was a 55-35 loss to the Aviators, giving Vandalia a sweep of the season series.
Vandalia improved to 9-8 overall and 4-7 in GWOC American action, while Piqua dropped to 4-12 overall and 3-8 in GWOC American action.
“I think we got caught up in playing a Tuesday night game on the road with not much of a crowd,” Piqua coach Heath Butler said. “We just didn’t play with a lot of energy.”
The Indians made just two of 22 field goal attempts in the opening quarter — went from 3:51 of the first quarter to 4:18 of the third quarter without a field goal and made just five field goals in the first three quarters, trailing 42-18 going to the fourth quarter.
“One of the positives is I thought we played well defensively tonight,” Butler said. “But, the name of the game is putting the ball in the basket. And when we would get two or three defensive stops in a row, we couldn’t take advantage of it by scoring.”
To Butler’s credit, they came out on fire — and finished the first half with 11 field goals on the same 22 attempts Piqua had.
“They hit shots early,” Butler said. “We were playing from behind and trying to force things a little. But, you have to put the ball in the basket.”
Michael Kreill had 13 points for Vandalia.
Miles Joiner had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds and Braedon Norman added nine points, with Bryant Johnson scoring eight.
Hayden Schrubb led Piqua with seven points and nine rebounds.
Piqua was nine of 40 from the floor for 23 percent and 13 of 16 from the line for 81 percent.
Vandalia was 21 of 39 from the floor for 54 percent and eight of 14 from the line for 57 percent.
Butler won the battle of the boards 29-27 and had eight turnovers to Piqua’s 15.
Up Next: Piqua will host Tippecanoe Friday night in GWOC American North action.
The Indians beat the Red Devils at Tipp 48-44 early in the season.
Tippecanoe, 9-9 overall and 5-6 in GWOC American play, is led by 5-10 senior Zach Bonifas, who is averaging 12. 3 points a game.
Caiden Smith, a 6-1 junior, averages 10.2 points, while 6-2 senior Adam Grieshop grabs 4.9 rebounds per game.
Tipp hand Sidney its first GWOC American loss Tuesday.
“They are long and athletic,” Butler said. “They have been playing well and are coming off a big win.”
Double Weekend: Piqua will host Milton-Union Saturday.
The Bulldogs are coached by former Lehman coach Mike Piatt.
The Bulldogs, 2-13, are led by 5-11 sophomore William Morris, who averages 8.4 points and dishes out 2.3 assists per game.
Daniel Albaugh, a 6-1, junior, grabs 6.0 rebounds per game.
“They are a small school playing a bigger school,” Butler said. “I am sure they will come in fired up. A win would show they are going in the right direction. Coming off the Tipp game Friday, we have to come out and not let them hang around.”
And hopefully, with five of the final six at the friendly confines of Garbry Gymnasium, putting the ball in the basket won’t be a problem.
Caleb Patton 0-1-1, Hayden Schrubb 2-2-7, Gage Smith 2-0-6, Ben Schmiesing 1-4-6, Nate Monnin 2-2-6, Xion Harrison 0-0-0, Nick Rigola 0-0-0, Cory Cottrell 1-2-4, Micah Karn 1-0-3, Holden Yount 0-0-0, Qurri Tucker 0-0-0, Cam Ashton 0-0-0, Devin Fosler 0-2-2. Totals: 9-13-35.
Miles Joiner 4-3-12, Michael Kreill 5-0-13, Bryant Johnson 3-2-8, Nathan Stogdill 2-1-5, Quentin Glover 0-0-0, Braedon Norman 4-0-9, Tyler Burley 0-1-1, Sutton Skapik 2-0-4, Leland Skapik 0-0-0, Ryan Wertz 0-1-1, Kenny Messenger 1-0-2. Totals: 21-8-55.
3-point field goals — Piqua: Schrubb, Smith (2), Karn. Vandalia: Joiner, Kreill (3), Norman.
Score By Quarters
Piqua 7 11 18 35
Vandalia 18 29 42 55
Records: Vandalia 9-8 (4-7), Piqua 4-12 (3-8).