By Rob Kiser
The Piqua boys basketball team executed its game plan to perfection — to the aggravation of a lot of Sidney fans — Friday night in GWOC American action.
But, in the end, Sidney was able to make enough plays down the stretch to come away with a 55-45 victory in GWOC American action.
Sidney improved to 16-4 overall and 12-1 in the GWOC American with the win, while Piqua dropped to 5-14 and 3-10.
“It is one thing to ask the kids to play that way (when they are used to playing uptempo,” Piqua coach Heath Butler said about slowing the ball down against a Sidney team that likes to get out and go. “But, they have to buy in for it to work. I am so proud of the way they executed the game plan tonight. To the aggravation of a lot of people.”
With Hayden Schrubb running the offense to perfection — along with some nice drives to the basket — and Nate Monnin and Ben Schmiesing hitting big shots — the Indians trailed just 35-33 going to the fourth quarter.
“I couldn’t ask for anymore than that — except down two with the ball at the end maybe,” Butler said. “And it was everybody. They all did a great job. And Nick (Rigola), Cory (Cottrell) and X (Xion Harrison) all came in off the bench and did their job.”
In fact, Rigola drilled a long three to get Piqua within 35-33 going to the fourth quarter.
But, Ratez Roberts had several dunks in the final quarter and Jace Conrad hit a three with four minutes to go to put Sidney up 45-37 and Piqua could never cut into the lead.
“They just made plays in the fourth quarter,” Butler said. “They had two or three and-one’s.”
And Piqua turnovers proved costly.
“In a game like this, you can’t have those empty possessions,” Butler said. “In a game in the 80s, it is not that big a deal. But, in this type of game they are big.”
Monnin score at the end of the first quarter to give Piqua a 13-11 lead.
The Indians were trailing 22-16 in the final minute of the first half when Monnin scored and Schmiesing added four points in the final 10 seconds after Sidney stepped over the endline throwing the ball in to make it 22-22 at half.
“That just shows how much heart these kids have,” Butler said. “Putting their bodies on the line like that.”
A Schmiesing three early in the third quarter gave Piqua a 27-24 lead, but Sidney ran off nine straight points and led the rest of the way.
Schmiesing finished with 20 points and seven rebounds, Monnin had eight points and nine rebounds and Schrubb also scored eight points.
“Just another blue collar effort from Ben Schmiesing,” Butler said. “Hayden Schrubb and Nate Monnin both made plays for us.”
Roberts led Sidney with 18 points, while Andre Gordon had 13 points and seven rebounds.
Piqua was 17 of 43 from the floor and six of nine from the line, while Sidney was 22 of 45 from the floor, but just seven of 19 from the line.
Piqua won the battle of the boards 26-25, but had 13 turnovers to Sidney’s five.
The Indians will be back in action tonight, hosting Elida.
Isaiah Bowser 2-2-7, Ratez Roberts 9-0-18, Andre Gordon 4-4-13, Devan Rogers 3-1-7, Josiah Hudgins 2-0-5, Jace Conrad 2-0-5, Allec Gordon 0-0-0, Ryan Heins 0-0-0. Totals: 22-7-55.
Caleb Patton 1-0-2, Hayden Schrubb 3-2-8, Gage Smith 1-1-4, Nate Monnin 4-0-8, Ben Schmiesing 7-3-20, Cory Cottrell 0-0-0, Nick Rigola 1-0-3, Xion Harrison 0-0-0. Totals: 17-6-45.
3-point field goals — Sidney: Bowser, Andre Gordon, Hudgins, Conrad. Piqua: Smith, Schmiesing (3), Rigola.
Score By Quarters
Sidney 11 22 35 55
Piqua 13 22 33 45
Records: Sidney 16-4 (12-1), Piqua 5-14 (3-10).
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.