By Rob Kiser
VANDALIA — The Piqua boys basketball team was able to keep it close for a quarter.
But, in the end Vandalia-Butler was too athletic and big for the Indians in GWOC American action Friday night.
Vandalia improved to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in GWOC American play with a 64-43 win, while Piqua dropped to 0-2 overall and 0-1 in GWOC American play.
The Indians will be back in action tonight, playing at Milton-Union in non-conference action.
After baskets by Michael Kreill and Bryant Johnson gave Vandalia a 4-0 lead, Piqua answered right back with drive by Devon Brown and Ben Schmiesing using his muscle inside to make it a 4-4 game.
After a three-point play by Kreill, Piqua’s Qurri Tucker hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 7-7.
Butler then ran off nine straight points, capped by a three by Kort Justice to make it 16-7.
Tucker hit two free throws for Piqua, before Justice hit another three to make it 19-9.
Piqua would scored the final four points of the quarter to get back within 19-13 after one.
Schmiesing scored inside and then Piqua held for the last shot.
The ball went out of bounds with 2.3 seconds to go.
But, Schrubb inbounded to Nick Rigola in the paint and he scored at the buzzer.
Piqua scored just two points in the last six minutes of the first half, as Vandalia stretched a 21-16 lead — after a basket by Brown — to 34-18 at the break.
The Indians were never able to mount a serious challenge in the second half.
Piqua was 18 of 38 from the floor for 47 percent, but free throws continue to plague the Indians. Piqua made just four of 16 from the line for 25 percent and the Indians are now just 12 of 38 from the line for the year.
Vandalia was 25 of 49 from the floor for 51 percent and five of seven from the line for 71 percent.
Vandalia won the battle of the boards 24-22 and had just four turnovers to Piqua’s 16.
Brown led a balanced Piqua attack with 12 points.
Schmiesing scored 10, Tucker had nine and Schrubb netted eight, with Rigola adding four points.
Justice led Vandalia with 13 points.
Kreill, Braedon Norman and Ryan Wertz all scored 10.
Trey Sanders added eight.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.