By Rob Kiser
GREENVILLE — The record may not show it, but the Piqua boys basketball team is not somebody you want to play right now.
And Greenville found that out Tuesday night in a 64-56 loss to Piqua in GWOC American play.
The Indians improved to 7-14 overall and 4-10 in GWOC American play and the Wave dropped to 13-7 overall and 9-5 in GWOC American play.
This was the same Greenville team Piqua had lost to 72-53 at home in the first meeting.
“The kids are really doing a great job,” Piqua coach Heath Butler said. “They are buying into what we are doing. If we have to keep the game in the 40sor 50s to win, they are willing to do that. This is truly a blue-collar team.”
And the Indians put all five starters in double figures — something that hasn’t happened at Piqua in some time.
“What a team effort,” Butler said. “Ben (Schmiesing), Nate (Monnin) and Hayden (Schrubb) really played well. Then you have Gage Smith have a good game shooting the ball and Caleb Patton knocks down a couple shots. That is tough to stop.”
It certainly didn’t start out the way Piqua had hoped.
Isaiah Gable and Aaron Rich hit 3-pointers, followed by the first of two Gable dunks and it was 8-0 Greenville.
“Even on the road down 8-0, the kids had the patience to settle down and stay with the game,” Butler said. “I think we came back with five points in a row. That was big.”
When Monnin hit a three to close the first quarter, Piqua led 13-10.
The Indians began to take control in the second quarter — with Monnin, Schmiesing and Schrubb asserting themselves on the offensive boards.
“At this point, it just comes down to who plays hardest and who wants it the most,” Monnin said. “That is what it is about.”
When the high-scoring Gable picked up this third foul midway though the quarter, the tide turned.
Despite making just three of 11 free throws in the first half, the Indians led 21-16 at the break.
“We were really playing well,” Butler said. “But we misses some bunnies and missed a lot of free throws.”
Greenville tied the game with the first five points of the second half — but a Smith three and drive by Patton put Piqua back on top. Schmiesing added a big three to make it 31-27 and the Indians maintained the lead the rest of the way.
“We knew they were going to make a run at us in the third quarter,” Schmiesing said. “We just had to be ready for that.”
It was 38-34 after three quarters and Piqua started the fourth quarter with a 3-point play by Schmiesing and a basket by Monnin on a Schrubb assist.
Piqua just built the lead from there, getting easy baskets by beating the press and finding the open man.
“When they have to come out on our shooters, that is is leaving it open in the middle and we are doing a great job of finding those guys,” Butler said.
Three Piqua players had double-doubles.
Monnin had 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead the way.
Schmiesing had 13 points and 12 rebounds and Schrubb added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Smith scored 12 points and Patton added 10.
Devin Hendrix led Greenville with 14 points.
Rich had 12 points and nine rebounds and Gable scored 11.
Piqua was 23 of 53 from the floor for 43 percent and 13 of 21 from the line for 62 percent.
Greenville was 19 of 56 from the floor for 34 percent and 10 of 14 from the line for 71 percent.
The Indians won the battle of the boards 38-19 and had 10 turnovers to Greenville’s four.
Up Next: Piqua will close the regular season Friday hosting Troy in the “Go Green” game.
The Trojans come in with a matching record of 7-14 overall and 4-10 in GWOC American play.
Ryan McClurg, a 6-1 senior who scored 33 points in Troy’s win over Piqua, averages 14.2 points.
Zach Reichelderfer, a 6-4 junior, is averaging 12.8 points and 7.6 rebounds, while 6-2 senior Hayden Kotwica averages 9.1 points.
“You can throw out the records (with Piqua-Troy),” Butler said. “Even though we are playing really well right now, we need to understand Troy is not just going to come in and lay down. We are going to have to continue to work.”
Schmiesing summed it up.
“We are playing really well together right now,” he said. “It is nice to go into Troy with two straight wins — we need to make it three.”
And continue the momentum into postseason play.
Caleb Patton 3-4-10, Hayden Schrubb 5-0-10, Gage Smith 4-1-12, Nate Monnin 5-7-18, Ben Schmiesing 6-1-14, Cory Cottrell 0-0-0, Nick Rigola 0-0-0, Xion Harrison 0-0-0. Totals: 23-13-64.
Devin Hendrix 4-5-14, Trae Wood 3-0-8, Peter Pandey 4-3-11, Aaron Rich 4-1-12, Isaiah Gable 4-1-11, Will Coomer 0-0-0, Kyle Phillips 0-0-0, Marcus Wood 0-0-0, Kyle Mills 0-0-0. Totals: 19-10-56.
3-point field goals — Piqua: Smith (3), Monnin, Schmiesing. Greenville: Hendrix, Trae Wood (2), Rich (3), Gable (2).
Score By Quarters
Piqua 13 21 38 64
Greenville 10 16 34 56
Records: Piqua 7-14 (4-10), Greenville 13-7 (9-5).
Reserve score: Piqua 56, Greenville 55, OT.