By Rob Kiser
SIDNEY — Piqua girls basketball team went three-balling Saturday afternoon.
Which was more than enough to overwhelm GWOC American foe Sidney in a 47-19 Indians victory.
And no one is better at that sport than Piqua senior guard Lily Stewart.
Already the career 3-point leader at Piqua, Stewart extended her single game record of seven Saturday.
Stewart scorched the nets on eight of her first 10 3-point attempts, finished with nine 3-pointers on 14 attempts and her 29 points were 10 more than Sidney could manage.
“For sure (she had a good feeling going into the game),” Stewart said. “It is all about the team. It is always good to beat Sidney.”
Piqua improved to 6-13 overall and 4-9 in GWOC American action, while Sidney dropped to 2-17 and 2-11.
“Sidney is going through a tough season,” Gillespie said. “I have been there. You just don’t want to let a team like that hang around.”
And Piqua executed that strategy to perfection.
Piqua made its first seven 3-point attempts (five by Stewart, two by Skylar Sloan).
The seventh one was a bank by Stewart — that she called.
That came with 6:32 remaining in the first half and put her at 17 points for the game.
“I said bank before I released it — and then it banked in,” Stewart said with a smile. “I would say it is (a sign things are going your way).”
And exactly what Gillespie was looking for.
“I believer when you put one three in after another and they start to pile up — that is tough on the other team,” Gillespie said. “I have been there — I feel bad for them — when you are having a year like that, it is tough to come back when you get way down.”
To Sidney’s credit, eight points by Hallie Truesdale helped the Jackets battle back to 27-15 at the break as Piqua’s only points the rest of the half were a basket by Kelsey Magoteaux in the final minute of the half.
And it stayed that way for awhile.
Neither team scored in the first 3:56 of the second half.
Then Stewart hit three straight threes to open the lead to 38-15 and put the game away for good.
“I think this was the most complete game, I have seen Lily (Stewart) play,” Gillespie said about her career high.
Not that Piqua didn’t have a lot of other positives.
Sidney made just two of 17 shots in the second half, scoring four points.
“What a great defensive effort by our kids,” Gillespie said. ‘They played so hard. It is great to be healthy. We only had four and a half healthy kids against Tipp Wednesday (due to sickness).”
It was also the return of Tylah Yeomans, who suffered a knee injury early in the season. Everybody held their breaths early in the fourth quarter, but she hopped right back up.
“She took a shot and it didn’t hurt her knee at all,” Gillespie said. “We were able to get her about five minutes.”
Magoteaux had a strong floor game with 10 rebounds and six steals, while Kelsey Bachman dished out five assists.
Truesdale led Sidney with eight points.
Piqua was 15 of 38 from the floor for 40 percent — including 11 of 19 from 3-point range for 58 percent. The Indians made six of 10 free throws for 60 percent.
Sidney was 8 of 34 from the floor for 24 percent and two of three from the line for 67 percent.
Piqua won the battle of the boards 25-18 and had nine turnovers to Sidney’s 15.
Ironically, Piqua made just four two-point field goals all game.
“We have kids who can shoot the three,” Gillespie said. “Sometimes that works out a lot better.”
And the Indians will look to play some more “three-ball” Monday when they travel to Bellefontaine.
Lauren Williams 0-0-0, Kelsey Magoteaux 1-2-4, Skylar Sloan 2-0-6, Emily Powell 0-0-0, Lily Stewart 10-0-29, Kelsey Bachman 1-2-4, Elizabeth Kidwell 0-0-0, Tayler Grunkemeyer 1-0-2, Tylah Yeomans 0-2-2, Jordan Karn 0-0-0. Totals: 15-6-47.
Carrie Nuss 0-0-0, Hallie Truesdale 4-0-8, Alina Kindle 1-0-3, Carly Dean 0-2-2, Emma Wiford 1-0-2, Kyana Johnson 1-0-2, Keliyah Marcus 0-0-0, Samantha Reynolds 1-0-2, Maddie White 0-0-0, Lauren Baker 0-0-0. Totals: 8-2-19.
3-point field goals — Piqua: Sloan (2), Stewart (9). Sidney: Kindle.
Score By Quarters
Piqua 20 27 42 47
Sidney 9 15 17 19
Records: Piqua 6-13 (4-9), Sidney 2-17 (2-11).