By Rob Kiser
The Piqua boys basketball team faces three straight must-win games to keep any hopes of sharing a conference title alive.
The first two come Friday and Tuesday, when the Indians host Trotwood-Madison Friday, before traveling to Sidney Tuesday.
The Rams come in with a record of 14-2 overall and 5-0 in the GWOC North, owning a two-game lead over Piqua, Sidney and Greenville. Piqua is 9-7 overall and 3-2 in the GWOC North.
Tuesday’s loss to Wayne was Trotwood’s first to an Ohio team this year.
The Rams are led by Torrey Patton, a 6-foot-3 junior, who averages 20.0 points, 5,7 rebounds and 3.9 steals.
Amari Davis, a 6-4 freshman, averages 16.3 points and 3.0 steals, while 6-2 sophomore Myles Belyeu averages 14.1 points and 9.5 rebounds.
In the first meeting, Piqua trailed 31-5 after the first quarter in an 81-56 loss, so the Indians will have to find a way to get off to a better start and handle the Rams pressure.
Colton Bachman, a 6-4 senior, leads Piqua with 21. 6 points per game.
Bradley Hohlbein, a 6-3 senior, averages 12.2 points and 3.3 assists, while 6-3 junior Nate Monnin averages 11.5 points and 9.5 rebounds.
Piqua is coming off a 66-58 loss to Northmont Tuesday.
The Indians trailed by as many as 20 points in the game, before getting within five in the final minute.
Hohlbein had a big game with 15 points in the first half an 21 for the game, while Bachman added 17.
Sidney is 11-5 overall and 3-2 in the GWOC North.
The Jackets are coming off an overtime loss to a strong Springfield team on Tuesday and are 11-5 overall and 3-2 in the GWOC North.
Cameron Gallimore, a 5-10 senior, leads a balanced attack with 14.3 points per game, while 6-foot freshman Andre Gordon averages 12.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists.
Lorenzo Taborn, a 6-4 senior post, averages 11.6 points and 7.7 rebounds.
The Jackets will be looking to even the score against Piqua.
In the first meeting, Piqua won an overtime thriller 86-84.
Bachman scored 33 points in the game, including making 13 of 15 free throws. Hohlbein scored 17 points and Monnin added 14. Piqua made nine 3-point field goals in that game.
Gallimore poured in 28 points in the first meeting, while Taborn scored 17 and Devan Rogers added 15 points off the bench.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.