Call Sports Editor
SIDNEY — Piqua boys basketball coach Heath Butler would have no complaints about his team playing a perfect game.
But, then again, Butler is not about to complain about a road win over a rival or rate it artistically.
“You know, the great thing about it is we won a GWOC North game on the road without playing our best game,” Butler said after a 77-65 win over Sidney Friday night that upped the Indians to 2-0 in the GWOC North and 4-1 overall. “We are going to get better. You are always going to get better.”
The game could definitely be identified as the “coming-out” party for Piqua freshman Storm Cook.
After a scoreless first quarter, Cook had the most productive game of his five-game career, hitting four 3-point field goals and scoring 23 points.
“I couldn’t do it without my teammates,” Cook said. “They would drive and penetrate and when they collapsed, kick it out to me.”
Tate Honeycutt, coming off a Stebbins game when he didn’t take a shot, scored 14 points in the first half and finished with 19.
“The coaches talked to me a little bit after the Stebbins game and told me I am a good player,” Honeycutt, who also had a handful of assists on the night, said. “It doesn’t matter who scores, I just want to win.”
And Piqua made it look easy at times, although a scrappy Sidney team never went away.
A great example was early in the second quarter after Piqua opened a 20-10 lead.
Just as quickly, Sidney scored eight straight points to close the deficit to 20-18.
“There are times when we just lose our focus,” Butler said. “There would be times where Sidney inbounded and we never matched up all the way down the floor.
“But, you have to give Sidney credit. They played hard the whole game.”
By halftime the advantage was 26-20 and Piqua increased the margin to 55-38 after three quarters, with Cook matching Sidney’s eight points in the period.
“Every game is different,” Butler said. “Tate (Honeycutt) and Storm (Cook) were the guys scoring tonight. On another night, it might be somebody else. That is what I like about this team.”
With Daryl McNeal scoring eight points and Eric Beigel scoring seven in the final quarter, the Jackets put a scare in Piqua, closing to within 59-50.
But, the Indians were able to pull away from there.
“I think our runs were bigger than theirs,” Butler said. “We were able to stretch out and ride out their runs.”
Colton Bachman added 14 points and eight rebounds, while Dan Monnin pulled down six.
Cameron Gallimore led Sidney with 17 points.
Beigel scored 14 and McNeal added 11.
Piqua was 24 of 41 from the floor for 59 percent and 21 of 30 from the line for 70 percent.
Sidney was 23 of 42 from the floor for 55 percent and 14 of 29 from the line for 48 percent.
Piqua won the battle of the boards 29-22, but had 21 turnovers to the Jackets’ 11.
“Some of it was us making mistakes, but I think you have to give Sidney a lot of credit,” Butler said.
And Cook said this was just the beginning for Piqua.
“Just wait and see,” he said with a smile. “Just wait.”
Which would be just fine with Butler, whose team takes a 4-1 record into the B.I.G. Holiday Classic Friday night, when the Indians play Russia at 8:30 p.m.
Nate Monnin scored 17 points in the freshman game and Bradley Hohlbein added 13 as Piqua won 56-25.
Tate Honeycutt 7-4-19, Xavier Harrison 1-3-5, Erik Vondenhuevel 1-3-5, Colton Bachman 5-3-14, Dan Monnin 2-0-4, Storm Cook 6-7-23, Conner Forror 2-0-6, Ryan Neal 0-1-1, Derrick Gullett 0-0-0. Totals: 24-21-77.
Darryl McNeal 4-3-11, Cameron Gallimore 8-0-17, Lorenzo Taborn 1-4-7, Gold Barnes 0-0-0, Eric Beigel 5-3-14, Tyren Cox 2-4-9, Jalen Herd 1-0-2, Zack Napier 1-0-3, Travious Burns 0-0-0, Micah Miller 1-0-2. Totals: 23-14-65.
3-point field goals — Piqua: Honeycutt, Bachman, Cook (4), Forror (2). Sidney: Gallimore, Taborn, Beigel, Cox, Napier.
Score By Quarters
Piqua 19 36 55 77
Sidney 10 30 38 65
Records: Piqua 4-1 (2-0), Sidney 0-5 (0-2).
Reserve score: Piqua 56, Sidney 25.