Call Sports Editor
VANDALIA — How bizarre was the finish to Piqua’s 56-54 victory over Vandalia-Butler at Student Activity Center Friday night.
Most fans left the game not knowing what the final score was.
Understandable, since the scoreboard read 57-54 with eight seconds to go.
After Piqua’s Colton Bachman had made one of two free throws with 25.2 seconds to go, the score went from 55-51 to 57-51, before Butler’s Paige Newlin hit a three with eight seconds to go to make it 57-54 (on the scoreboard) and Vandalia called timeout.
Thinking his team trailed by three, Vandalia’s Adam Ney stole a long inbounds pass near mid-court a fired a shot immediately.
It looked like the shot was going to bank-in for what everyone thought would be a tie.
“It just seemed like his shot was in the air forever,” Piqua sophomore Colton Bachman said. “I couldn’t believe it (how close it came to going in).”
Butler”s Nnaemaka Anene grabbed the rebound and just missed on what everyone thought was a meaningless putback — as it turned out, had it gone in the game would have gone to overtime.
“Oh my gosh,” Bachman said when told afterwards. “That would have been terrible. Coach (Heath) Butler would have ripped me (for not getting the rebound), if it had gone to overtime.”
Instead, Piqua had its first win at Vandalia since the 2006-07 season, snapping a six game losing streak at the SAC.
“This is huge for us,” Bachman said. “To come down here and win on this floor.”
Especially after Vandalia-Butler jumped all over Piqua in the early going.
Ney had a four-point play to break a 9-9 tied and start a 13-0 Vandalia run, capped by a basket by Marcus Newell early in the second quarter that put the Aviators in front 22-13.
“We were not ready to play at all tonight,” Piqua coach Heath Butler said. “We made three or four mental mistakes in the first quarter. That is unacceptable. We have to learn we can’t do those things against anybody.”
But, with Bachman scoring 10 points in the opening half, Piqua had close the deficit to 31-27 at the break.
Piqua opened the third quarter with a 10-0 run to go up 37-31, started by a Storm Cook three. Cook had two 3-pointers in the quarter and added two points when he was fouled shooting another three.
“Colton (Bachman) and Storm (Cook) will get the credit for the points,” Butler said. “But, the other guys were all doing things to make it happen. To regroup on the road and come back and play like we did, that says a lot.”
Piqua led 44-42 going to the fourth quarter.
Butler was able to pull even several times, but never regained the lead.
A basket by Newlin tied it at 51 with with just under four minutes remaining.
Piqua’s guards then did a good job getting the ball inside for good looks.
Erik Vondenhuevel scored the first two and Tate Honeycutt hit two free throws to put Piqua up 55-51 with 1:53 remaining.
Vandalia had a number of chances to close the gap, but couldn’t find the mark, before Bachman hit one of two free throws and Paige’s three set up a dramatic and bizarre finish.
“We won’t tell the kids,” Butler joked about the scoreboard being off by one.
Bachman had 19 points and five rebounds for the Indians, while Cook added 12 points and Dan Monnin had eight points and five rebounds.
Paige led Vandalia with 16 points.
Ney scored 14, Newell netted nine and Anene had eight points and six rebounds.
Piqua was 18 of 40 from the floor for 45 percent and 14 of 20 from the line for 70 percent.
Vandalia-Butler was 22 of 48 from the floor for 46 percent and five of 10 from the line for 50 percent.
The Indians won the battle of the boards 24-18, but had 11 turnovers to Vandalia’s nine.
Piqua lost the JV game 47-45.
Brady Hill scored 12 points and Brandon Hohlbein added nine.
Now the Indians, 8-4 overall and 4-2 in the GWOC North, have a break until next Friday, when Piqua hosts Sidney. It will begin a stretch of seven games in 11 days.
“Rest up,” Bachman, who was one of several Piqua players who came up hobbling during the game. “Relax and let the body heal.”
They earned it after a bizarre finish and rare win at Vandalia.
Tate Honeycutt 1-4-6, Xavier Harrison 1-0-3, Colton Bachman 6-4-19, Storm Cook 3-4-12, Ryan Neal 0-0-0, Dan Monnin 3-2-8, Derrick Gullett 2-0-4, Erik Vondenhuevel 2-0-4. Totals: 18-14-56.
Jalen Paige 7-0-16, Michael Drees 1-1-3, Aaron Messenger 1-0-2, Adam Ney 5-1-14, Nnaemaka Anene 3-2-8, Marcus Newell 4-1-9, Cameron Glover 1-0-2, Tyson Williams 0-0-0, Trevo Imwalle 0-0-0. Totals: 22-5-54.
3-point field goals — Piqua: Harrison, Bachman (3), Cook (2). Vandalia: Paige (2), Ney (3).
Score By Quarters
Piqua 13 27 44 56
Vandalia 20 31 42 54
Records: Piqua 8-4 (4-2), Vandalia-Butler 3-10 (2-3).
Reserve score: Vandalia-Butler 47, Piqua 45.