By Rob Kiser
Coming off two of their toughest games all season, the Piqua girls basketball team responded in a big way with Fairborn visiting for GWOC crossover action Monday night.
Playing their best game of the season, the Lady Indians trailed by just four with five minutes to go before losing the game 39-25.
“We could have had this game,” Piqua coach Brian Gillespie said. “We really could have.”
When Mikayla Schaffner scored with 5:20 to go, Piqua trailed just 29-25. Schaffner had all 11 Piqua points in the second half, but the Lady Indians would not score again.
“It is not like we didn’t have opportunities,” Gillespie said. “I could ask any more from these kids as a far as effort goes. They really played hard.”
Courtney Mustard had six points down the stretch and Kaylie Cook added four as Fairborn finished the game on a 10-0 run.
“Maybe I just need to do a better job of rotating bodies,” Gillespie said. “We are down on numbers and have three people down (hurt), but we have to find a way to give everybody a break.”
Piqua had led most of the first quarters, surpassing their points total against Springboro in the opening eight minutes.
Lauren Williams started the game with a basket, Mikayla Schaffner scored and Macie Schaffner hit a three as the Lady Indians took a 7-3 lead.
Another three by Macie Schaffner made it 10-6, before a basket by Mustard and three by Evelyn Oktavec gave Fairborn an 11-10 lead the Lady Skyhawks would never relinquish.
Piqua’s only points in the second quarter came on a three by Macie Schaffner, her third of the half.
But, she suffered a hip flexor and was unable to play in the second half.
“Macie (Schaffner) gave us a spark,” Gillespie said. “Then, she went down again. It is tough. We played hard the whole game. We just couldn’t get over the top and then things kind of snowballed on us at the end.”
Mikayla Schaffner led Piqua with 13 points and Macie Schaffner added nine.
Oktavec paced Fairborn with 11.
Mustard and Cook both scored eight, while Megan Williams and Chloe Johnson both scored six.
Fairborn improved to 2-4, while Piqua dropped to 0-4.
The Lady Indians won the JV game 47-19.
Jennouleigha Tipton scored 15 points and Kelsey Bachman added nine.
Piqua will travel to Fairmont Wednesday.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.