By Rob Kiser
Piqua boys basketball coach Heath Butler continues to see his basketball team progress.
And the result Tuesday was a 63-44 win over West Carrollton in GWOC American action as the Indians head into a double road weekend.
“I don’t think it was neccessarily important to win the game — but it was important to keep playing well,” Butler said. “We had played well against Trotwood-Madison. We had them on the ropes for awhile, but just didn’t put 32 minutes together. We were closer though — and we came even closer tonight.”
To West Carrollton’s credit, they were still within 9-8 after one quarter — despite being in search of its first win of the season.
But, Ben Schmiesing and Caleb Patton combined for the first 16 points of the second quarter to make it 25-8 and the Indians were never seriously challenged after that.
“That is the sign of a good team and a team that is strong mentally,” Butler said about the run. “The pressure can build up when you let a team like West Carrollton hang around. We caught the ball and rebounded the ball — those two things were the key to the run.”
With the Garbry Goonies stationed behind the Piqua bench, Patton responded with a 17-point game.
“If I knew having the Goonies behind the bench was going to give Caleb a burst like that, I would have done it a long time ago,” Butler said with a laugh. “He knocked down shots tonight.”
Ben Schmiesing led the Indians with 18 points and five rebounds, while Nate Monnin nearly had a double-double with eight points and 13 rebounds.
Veshawn Champion led the Pirates with 11 points, while Darianne Matthews added 10.
Piqua was 20 of 47 from the floor for 43 percent and 16 of 20 from the line for 75 percent.
West Carrollton was 19 of 56 from the floor for 34 percent and five of seven from the line for 71 percent.
Piqua won the battle of the boards 38-25, but had 17 turnovers to West Carrollton’s 10.
Now, Piqua faces a double road weekend.
On Friday, the Indians, 3-7 overall and 2-5 in GWOC American action, travel to Xenia. The Bucs are 5-5 overall and 2-4 in GWOC American action.
They are led by 6-3 sophomore Samari Curtis, who averages 24.8 points a game, along with 4.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists.
Kobe Hughlett, a 5-10 senior, averages 12.7 points and 6-2 junior Meechi Harris averages 8.8 points and 6.9 rebounds.
On Saturday, the Indians will face a similar challenge in St. Marys 6-3 senior guard Derek Jay.
Jay, a four-year starter, averages 22.5 points and five rebounds, while shooting 50 percent from behind the arc (29 of 58).
Jacob Grannan, a 6-2 senior, averages 11.4 points, while 5-10 junior Drew Jacobs dishes out 3.5 assists per game.
“It is a challenge,” Butler said about facing Curtis and Jay. “Because they are the type of players that can take over and carry a team at times. But, I am sure we will be ready for the challenge.”
And Tuesday was another example of that.
“I am happy with the progress we are making,” Butler said. “I see the hard work these guys are putting in at practice. And I don’t care who you are playing, when you get a 20-point win in the GWOC that is a good night.”
And a sign of continued progress.
West Carrollton (44)
Jayden Evans 4-0-8, Darianne Matthews 5-0-10, Jalen Sanders 1-0-2, Taylan King 1-0-2, Kyle Taylor 0-0-0, Veshawn Champion 3-4-11, Jordan Joseph 1-1-3, Josh VanScyoc 3-0-6, Paris Wright 1-0-2, Tristen Dillion 0-0-0, Darius Berry 0-0-0. Totals: 19-5-44.
Caleb Patton 6-3-17, Hayden Schrubb 0-0-0, Gage Smith 2-2-8, Nate Monnin 3-2-8, Ben Schmiesing 6-5-18, Nick Rigola 1-0-3, Xion Harrison 1-2-5, Devon Brown 1-2-4, JJ Rohrbach 0-0-0, Cam Ashton 0-0-0, Cory Cottrell 0-0-0, Holden Yount 0-0-0, Logan Copsey 0-0-0. Totals: 20-16-63.
3-point field goals — West Carrollton: Champion. Piqua: Patton (2), Smith (2), Schmiesing, Rigola, Harrison.
Score By Quarters
West Carrollton 8 14 29 44
Piqua 9 32 51 63
Records: Piqua 3-7 (2-5), West Carrollton 0-10 (0-6).