By Rob Kiser
It was a game where the final score didn’t really measure the progress the Piqua girls basketball team is making.
And after the 38-24 loss to Vandalia-Butler in GWOC North action Wednesday night, Piqua coach Brian Gillespie knew that as well.
“This team is really building some toughness,” Gillespie said.
The second and third quarters were prime examples of that, when Piqua outpointed the Aviators 16-14.
After falling behind 14-3 in the opening quarter —with Vandalia’s Shelby Moses hitting two 3-point field goals and 6-foot-1 post Abby Grooms adding five points — the Indians found a way to get back in the game.
On consecutive possessions in the second quarter, Piqua broke down Butler’s defense.
Kelsey Bachman scored off a Kelsey Magoteaux assist, followed by Claire Went scoring off a Mikayla Schaffner assist.
When Magoteaux scored off a dish from Went, Piqua was back within 15-11.
“The kids came back after getting down double digits,” Gillespie said. “Earlier in the season, that wouldn’t have happened.”
When Lily Stewart hit a three to close the third quarter, Piqua was within 28-19.
But, that was as close as the Indians could get.
“We were in the game through three quarters,” Gillespie said. “We just couldn’t come up with that big run in the fourth quarter that we needed.”
Grooms size was a problem for Piqua all night.
The Vandalia senior finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds, while Moses added 11 points.
“She (Abby Grooms) is a tough matchup for us,” Gillespie said. “She plays with a lot of physicality and uses her body well. We got into foul trouble guarding her. We have to be smarter with the way we play her.”
Schaffner had seven points and seven rebounds to lead the Piqua cause.
Stewart and Bachman both scored five points, while Schaffner grabbed six rebounds and Went pulled down five.
Piqua was nine of 29 from the floor for 31 percent and five of nine from the line for 56 percent.
Vandalia-Butler was 14 of 43 from the floor for 33 percent and six of eight from the line for 75 percent.
Vandalia-Butler, 9-5 overall and 3-1 in the GWOC North, won the battle of the boards 23-20 and had six turnovers to Piqua’s 12.
Piqua, 3-12 overall and 1-4 in the GWOC North, will play at Troy Christian Saturday.
The JV games tips at 11:30 a.m.
Olivia Schoenherr 1-1-4, Riley Clark 1-0-2, Shelby Moses 4-0-11, Brittney Petrosky 2-0-4, Abby Grooms 5-5-15, Briana Fourman 0-0-0, Keonni Rakestraw 1-0-2. Totals: 14-6-38.
Lauren Williams 1-1-3, Kelsey Magoteaux 3-1-7, Claire Went 1-0-2, Mikayla Schaffner 0-2-2, Lily Stewart 2-0-5, Chloe Clark 0-0-0, Kelsey Bachman 2-1-5. Totals: 9-5-24.
3-point field goals — Vandalia-Butler: Schoenherr, Moses (3). Piqua: Stewart.
Score By Quarters
Vandalia-Butler 14 21 28 38
Piqua 3 13 19 24
Records: Vandalia-Butler 9-5 (3-1), Piqua 3-12 (1-4).
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.