By Rob Kiser
TROY — The best way for the Piqua girls basketball team to improve its tournament chances — is for Piqua to improve its tournament chances.
For the fourth straight year, Piqua found itself playing a top three seed in the Division I sectional tournament — and the result was predictable.
The 20th seeded Indians lost to top seed Wayne 86-16. Piqua finishes the season at 3-20, while Wayne improves to 18-4.
It continued a pattern.
Last year, Piqua opened against unbeaten and second seed Sidney, in 2015 it was second seed Centerville and in 2014 it was third seed Springboro.
“We have to win more games during the season so we don’t put ourselves in this position again,” Piqua coach Brian Gillespie said after the loss. “That (Wayne) is a great team. I thought once we settled in, we didn’t show a lot of nerves. We competed. It is just tough against a team like that.”
With Kelsey Magoteaux scoring twice on drives to the basket and Lily Stewart hitting a three, Piqua trailed just 21-8 after one quarter.
But, Wayne stretched it to 44-10 at halftime and 69-13 after three quarters.
“You know, they have a post (6-2 sophomore Kyra Willis) that every team would love to have as a starter,” Gillespie said. “You can’t move her in the paint and she has a quick drop step the basket. She is tough.”
In fact, Wayne’s bench scored 51 of its 86 points.
“They are a deep team and they really don’t have a lot of weaknesses,” Gillespie said.
Magoteaux led Piqua with six points,s while Tylah Yeomans made four free throws.
Willis had 15 points and six rebounds for Wayne.
Nyla Hampton scored 11 points and Shai McGruder added 10, while Angel Brown and Dominique Camp both added nine.
Kiara Herring grabbed seven rebounds.
Piqua was five for 28 from the floor for 18 percent and five of 12 from the line for 42 percent.
Wayne was 35 of 61 from the floor for 57 percent and 10 of 11 from the line for 91 percent.
Wayne won the battle of the boards 36-12 and had seven turnovers to Piqua’s 28.
“We just have to get stronger mentally,” Gillespie said. “We have a great foundation with the four seniors coming back.”
Which Gillespie hopes will lead to enough success to break the pattern of tough tournament draws.
Lauren Williams 0-1-1, Kelsey Magoteux 3-0-6, Claire Went 0-0-0, Lauryn Gray 0-0-0, Lily Stewart 1-0-3, Tylah Yeomans 0-4-4, Kelsey Bachman 0-0-0, Emily Powell 0-0-0, Taylor Grunkemeyer 0-0-0, Skylar Sloan 1-0-2, Kathy Young 0-0-0, Hailey McPherson 0-0-0. Totals: 5-5-16.
Mali Morgan-Elliott 3-0-7, Destiny Bohanan 4-0-8, Olivia Trice 2-0-4, Shai McGruder 4-2-10, Maya Dunson 2-1-6, Dominque Camp 4-1-9, Nyla Hampton 5-0-11, Kiara Herring 0-0-0, Kyra Willis 6-3-15, Daja Scott 2-3-7, Angel Brown 3-0-9, Charity Miller 0-0-0. Totals: 35-10-86.
3-point field goals — Piqua: Stewart. Wayne: Morgan-Elliott, Dunson, Hampton, Brown (3).
Score By Quarters
Piqua 8 10 13 16
Wayne 21 44 69 86
Records: Piqua 3-20, Wayne 18-4.