By Rob Kiser
GREENVILLE — The game was not without some positives.
But, for the second time in three days, the Piqua girls basketball team came up a little short with a 45-40 loss to Greenville in the GWOC North opener for both teams.
Greenville improved to 3-2 and Piqua dropped to 1-3.
“It is a process,” Piqua coach Brian Gillespie said. “It is taking us longer to get going for some reason, but we will get there. I thought had some kids that did some good things tonight. We will get there.”
The highlight was the 3-point shooting of Lily Stewart.
The junior hit five of seven three-point attempts in the first three quarters, scoring 17 points.
“Lily (Stewart) lit it up tonight,” Gillespie said. “That is the Lily I look forward to seeing and expect to see. When she does that, it opens things up for other players.”
While Piqua trailed just 37-37 going to the final eight minutes, the Lady Wave switched to a box-and-one in the fourth quarter and all the Lady Indians could get were two Kelsey Magoteaux field goals.
“Mags (Kelsey Magoteaux) had some big baskets for us tonight,” Gillespie said. “We just couldn’t get anything to fall tonight. We had a lot of shots that rolled off the rim.”
Piqua had three possessions late in the game trailing 40-38, but they all ended in turnovers.
Saki Nakamura hit one of two free throws with 1:40 to go, the scored on a layup off a Piqua turnover to put Greenville up 43-38 with 57 seconds to go.
Morgan Gilbert and Nakamura would both add free throws to seal the win for the Lady Wave.
“We just couldn’t get anything to fall,” Gillespie said.
It had been a game where Greenville took advantage on the offensive glass — led by Cassie Cromwell — to open up leads, only to see Stewart cut into the deficit with her 3-point shooting.
Greenville had a 28-21 lead late in the first half, before Magoteaux scored and Stewart hit a three to open the secoond half and make it 28-26.
Then, Greenville led 37-28 midway through the quarter only to see Stewart hit two more threes with a Claire Went putback sandwiched in between to make it 37-36 after three quarters, only to see Greenville pull away late.
“Lily (Stewart) had a nice game,” Gillespie said. “And we had some other kids who made some plays.”
Stewart had 17 points and Magoteaux added 12, combining for 11 of Piqua’s 14 field goals. Lauryn Gray pulled down five rebounds.
Cromwell had nine points and 13 rebounds for Greenville, while Gilbert scored nine points. Nakamura added eight points and Lani Shilt pulled down six rebounds.
Piqua was 14 of 43 from the floor for 33 percent and seven of nine from the line for 78 percent.
Greenville was 14 of 54 from the floor for 26 percent and 16 of 25 from the line for 64 percent.
The Lady Wave had a 35-19 advantage on the boards and had 12 turnovers to Piqua’s 15.
“That (rebounding) has been a problem all year,” Gillespie said. “We have been struggling to screen people out. This was our second game since our last practice. We haven’t had a lot of practices, but it is something we will address.”
Before Piqua continues the process with a road game at Vandalia-Butler Wednesday, before hosting Tippecanoe Saturday night.
Lauren Williams 1-1-3, Kelsey Magoteaux 5-2-12, Claire Went 1-2-4, Lauryn Gray 0-0-0, Lily Stewart 6-0-17, Tylah Yeomans 1-0-2, Emily Powell 0-0-0, Kelsey Bachman 0-0-0, Hailey McPherson 0-2-2. Totals: 14-7-40.
Karstyn Schaffer 3-0-6, Payton Brandenberg 1-1-3, Cassie Cromwell 4-1-9, Saki Nakamura 2-4-8, Morgan Gilbert 1-6-9, Kaylee Jackson 2-0-4, Lani Shilt 1-0-2, Jada Garland 0-4-4. Totals: 14-16-45.
3-point field goals — Piqua: Stewart (5). Greenville: Gilbert.
Score By Quarters
Piqua 12 23 36 40
Greenville 13 28 37 45
Records: Piqua 1-3 (0-1), Greenville 3-2 (1-0).
Reserve score: Greenville 43, Piqua 17.