By Rob Kiser
Call Sports Editor
The Piqua boys basketball team took the floor with a purpose Monday night.
And the Indians did not disappoint, stunning 14-4 Springfield 72-63.
The Wildcats only prior losses this season were twice to Beavercreek and once to Trotwood-Madison.
And the Indians came in having lost two of three.
“We didn’t play very well against Belmont (in Saturday’s win) either,” senior guard Xavier Harrison said. “We wanted to go out and shock the GWOC and we did that. This is huge. It shows you even when we lose some games we shouldn’t, we can come back and play like this.”
And maybe the best part for the Indians was the way they handled things down the stretch.
After having a double-digit lead much of the first half, Piqua found itself leading just 51-45 going to the fourth quarter.
In a 40-second stretch midway through the quarter, Colton Bachman and Harrison hit threes to take 3-point leads to six and make it 62-56 with 3:00 remaining.
Harrison’s three came off an offensive rebound by Dan Monnin who found a way to get the ball out to Harrison.
“Big senior rebound,” Piqua coach Heath Butler said. “Huge shot. Huge, huge shot. They had just hit a three and we came right back and answered it.”
Harrison never hesitated.
“Coach is always talking about shooting in a flow,” Harrison said. “And it just felt right.”
On Piqua’s next possession, Tate Honeycutt caught a pass in the corner and accelerated to the basket.
“Coach is always telling us to attack and that is what I did,” Honeycutt said.
He scored and was fouled, giving Piqua a 64-56 lead.
“There is no hesitation with this team,” Butler said. “Those days are over. Another big basket.”
And Butler pointed to a big play in the final minute — ironically a Piqua miss — after Springfield had gotten within six.
In front 66-60, Monnin missed a short jumper, but got the offensive rebound, which led to two Storm Cook free throws.
“That was a big offensive rebound by Dan (Monnin),” Butler said. “We are always talking to the kids about finding ways to contribute without scoring.”
An in an impressive sophomore season, Colton Bachman saved his best for one of the best teams the Indians will play.
Bachman, who had 22 points and 16 rebounds, enjoyed the chance to play an open-court game.
“This is much better than playing a (Vandalia) Butler or Greenville who walks the ball up the court,” Bachman said. “We knew the Dayton paper had Springfield ranked pretty high. We wanted to show what we could do. This is huge.”
As was Bachman’s play.
He had 15 points and eight rebounds in the first half alone as Piqua led 20-8 after one quarter and was still in front 36-27 at halftime.
“He (Colton Bachman) is amazing,” Butler said. “He can just take over with his athletic ability (in an up-and-down game).”
But, it was Piqua’s balance that stood out.
Honeycutt finished with 14, with eight in the third quarter when Springfield was making a run.
“I don’t know,” Honeycutt said about the second half scoring. “I knew somebody needed to step up.”
Harrison also had 10 points in the second half, including two clutch threes and hitting four straight free throws down the stretch.
Monnin had 10 points and eight rebounds, freshman Storm Cook scored seven of his nine in the fourth quarter and Derrick Gullett added five first quarter points. Ryan Neal and Erik Vondenhuevel provided solid minutes in the post.
“I am so proud of these guys,” Butler said. “Derrick (Gullett) had a couple big baskets in the first half. Everybody contributed. Dan (Monnin) really battled inside.”
Henry Alexander led Springfield with 19 points, while freshman Danny Davis added 10.
Daeshawn Jackson had 12 points and seven rebounds, while Andrew Colletti added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Springfield presented a two-pronged problem for the Indians — defensive pressure and the ability to jump out of the gym.
So, while Piqua had 26 turnovers to the Wildcats eight, the Indians won the battle of the boards 37-33.
“We wanted to limit our turnovers,” Butler said. “But, we focused on the boards and it felt like we won the rebounding battle. The guys did a great job of battling inside.”
Piqua was 24 of 47 from the floor for 51 percent and a torrid 18 of 20 from the line for 90 percent.
That included making 11 of 13 in the fourth quarter.
Springfield was cold all night, hitting just 22 of 77 field goal attempts for 29 percent and going 13 of 20 from the line for 65 percent.
Piqua lost the JV game 54-47.
Nash Black scored 13 points for the Indians.
Bradley Hohlbein netted 12 and CJ Davis added eight.
The Indians, 10-6, now play at Fairborn tonight and Trotwood-Madison Friday.
“This is a big week for us,” Butler said. “Springfield is the central leader, Fairborn is the south leader and Trotwood is the north leader.”
And what better way to start it then by shocking the GWOC?
Henry Alexander 6-4-19, Danny Davis 3-2-10, Derick Yarbrough 1-1-3, Daeshawn Jackson 5-1-12, Andrew Colletti 5-0-10, Dashawn Cordell 2-1-5, Anthony Freeman 0-0-0, DeMarco Cannon 0-4-4, Caleb Lloyd 0-0-0. Totals: 22-13-63.
Tate Honeycutt 5-3-14, Xavier Harrison 3-4-12, Storm Cook 2-5-9, Colton Bachman 8-4-22, Dan Monnin 4-2-10, Derrick Gullett 2-0-5, Ryan Neal 0-0-0, Erik Vondenhuevel 0-0-0. Totals: 24-18-72.
3-point field goals — Springfield: Alexander (3), Davis (2), Jackson. Piqua: Honeycutt, Harrison (2), Bachman (2), Gullett.
Score By Quarters
Springfield8 27 45 63
Piqua 20 36 51 72
Records: Springfield 14-4, Piqua 10-6.
Reserve score: Springfield 54, Piqua 47.