By Rob Kiser
It was just one of those nights for Piqua in the Red Bracket championship game of the Buckeye Insurance Group Holiday Classic.
Anything that could go wrong did — right from the start.
Belmont jumped out to a 15-0 lead and never looked back — despite playing its third game in three days — and the Bisons cruised to a 75-39 victory at Garbry Gymnasium.
“Some nights, you just don’t have it,” Piqua coach Heath Butler said. “We made some mistakes early and we just didn’t handle their pressure very well.”
The Bisons scored six points in the first minute and sprinted out to a 15-0 lead before Devon Brown got Piqua on the board with 3:22 to go in the first quarter.
Tournament MVP Kajaun Ford and all-tournament teams selection Jeffery Hunt combined for 23 first half points as Belmont jumped out to a 24-4 first quarter lead, took a 33-6 lead early in the second quarter and was on top 47-17 at halftime.
Devon Brown, an all-tournament selection for Piqua, scored eight of the Indians 17 in the opening half.
It was 59-29 after three quarters, before both teams emptied their benches in the fourth quarter.
And for all that went wrong, the Indians handled the situation well.
“Belmont’s a really good team,” Butler said. “But, our kids never complained about the officiating, never complained with each other. They stayed together and kept battling, which is not easy in a situation like that.”
And it gave the Indians a chance to see a style they are going to see real soon — Trotwood-Madison visits Friday night.
“I think it is going to help us,” Butler said about seeing the style of basketball. “I think there are some things we can learn. We will review it and move on. It was also good to get some kids playing time who haven’t had that much and gave them a chance to do some things.”
Brown had 10 points for Piqua, while Nate Monnin had seven points and seven rebounds.
Hunt led Belmont with 16 points.
Zachary Peck had 12 points and six rebounds and Ford scored 10 points.
Piqua was 12 of 41 from the floor for 29 percent and 14 of 21 from the line for 67 percent.
Belmont was 30 of 69 from the floor for 43 percent and 11 of 20 from the line for 55 percent.
The Bisons won the battle of the boards 40-25 and had 14 turnovers to Piqua’s 27.
The Indians will host Trotwood-Madison Friday.
“We just have to get ready and go out and try and shock the state,” Butler said.
Which would be a turnaround from a tough night.
Jeffery Hunt 6-2-16, Kajaun Ford 3-3-10, Ja’don Furlow 4-0-8, Dennis Jones 2-1-6, Demarco Long 4-1-9, Kendall Moore 2-1-5, Zachary Peck 6-0-12, Craig Rice 1-1-3, Phillip Harewood 2-1-5, Bailey Bocock 0-0-0, Zaren Raglin 0-1-1, Majack Malow 0-0-0. Totals: 30-11-75.
Nick Rigola 0-1-1, Hayden Schrubb 1-3-5, Gage Smith 1-0-2, Nate Monnin 2-3-7, Ben Schmiesing 0-3-3, Devon Brown 5-0-10, JJ Rohrbach 1-0-2, Xion Harrison 1-0-3, Caleb Patton 1-0-2, Cory Cottrell 0-2-2, Kam Ashton 0-2-2, Holden Yount 0-0-0, Devin Fosler 0-0-0, Logan Copsey 0-0-0. Totals: 12-14-39.
3-point field goals — Belmont: Hunt (2), Ford, Jones. Piqua: Harrison.
Score By Quarters
Belmont 24 47 59 75
Piqua 4 17 29 39
Records: Piqua 2-6.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937)-451-3334.