Call Sports Editor
Facing the Centerville girls basketball team is always a tall order.
When you add 6-foot-2 junior post Shannon Coffee — to go with some timely 3-point shooting — and the task grows by leaps and bounds.
And to the Piqua girls basketball team’s credit, the Lady Indians found themselves in a 9-9 tie midway through the first quarter before losing 79-27 in GWOC crossover action.
Tasha Potts hit a three and Morgen Grunkemyer followed with basket midway through the first quarter, tying the game 9-9 with 4:21 remaining. Grunkemeyer scored all six of her points in the opening quarter.
“Early on, we talked about handling their pressure and we did that,” Piqua coach Rory Hoke said. “Morgen (Grunkemeyer) really gave us an early spark. Danajha (Clemons) created some easy baskets with her pressure.”
But eventually, Centerville began to work the ball inside to Coffee, who scored 21 points in the opening half.
And when she wasn’t hitting, Shannon Reilly hit two second quarter 3-pointers, while Bethany Krause and Weston Minnich hit one each as the Lady Elks stretched a 21-10 first quarter lead to 48-21 at halftime.
“We told the girls that we couldn’t match up with her (Shannon Coffee), but we needed to take away the passing lanes so they couldn’t make a direct pass to her,” Hoke said. “We do that and then they hit from outside. Centerville is a very, very good team. When they talk about the teams in the state, they are right there. They are going to go deep in the tournament.”
It was more of a struggle in the second half, when Piqua scored just six points.
“The second half was tough,” Hoke said. “I thought we did a number of good things in the first half. We did some good things and there are things to work on.”
After seeing limited action in the second half, Coffee finished with 27 points and seven rebounds.
Reilly scored 15 points and Ify Archimalo pulled down seven rebounds.
Allen added five points for Piqua, playing without leading scored Macy Yount for the first time.
“I think it helped us get in the flow (getting a game in without Macy),” Hoke said. “We had some other girls that stepped up.”
Piqua was 12 of 32 from the floor for 38 percent and two of eight from the line for 13 percent.
Centerville was 30 of 76 from the floor for 39 percent and 14 of 15 from the line for 93 percent.
The Elks doubled the Indians on the board 32-16 and had just 10 turnovers to Piqua’s 28.
Piqua lost the JV game 39-8 and the freshman game 18-12.
The Indians will play at St. Marys Saturday, with the freshman game starting at 10 a.m.