By Rob Kiser
TROTWOOD — There have been a lot of positives to build on in Steve Grasso’s first season as Piqua boys basketball coach.
But, the Indians ran into a buzzsaw Friday night in Trotwood D-I sectional action.
The 15th seeded Indians lost to the 16th seeded Springboro Panthers 86-56.
Piqua finishes at 10-13, while Springboro improves to a deceiving 8-15 will play third seed Springfield Tuesday.
“Nobody ever wants to have their season end,” Grasso said. “But, that’s a pretty darn eight-win team. Their point guard (William Yates) came in for the second half of the season. They are a different team with him. You could see tonight, he really makes them go.”
And it didn’t take them long to go.
Springboro, with too much height and length, opened the game with threes from 6-6 Garrett Powell and 6-2 Kaleb Tabor.
Yates hit a three, while 6-7 Michael Berner and Tabor scored to make it 13-0 before Piqua called timeout.
“They came out on fire,” Grasso said. “But, we were able to come back from that one.”
With Mick Karn scoring nine points in the opening quarter, Piqua was able to battle back within 21-17 by quarter’s end.
Baskets by Qurri Tucker and Karn and a free throw by Schmiesing had Piqua back within 24-22 early in the second quarter.
But, Springboro answered with a 16-3 run to go up 40-25 and Piqua never recovered.
Piqua trailed 43-30 at the break and 69-48 after three quarters.
“We were just never able to sustain anything offensively,” Grasso said.
Schmiesing finished his career with a double-double — just like he averaged all season.
He led Piqua with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Tucker had 12 points and five rebounds.
Karn scored 12 points and Devon Brown netted 10, while Hayden Schrubb and Brown grabbed five rebounds each.
Conner Grevey scored 22 points off the bench to lead the Panthers, while Yates added 17.
Powell had 13 points, Berner had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds and Tabor added 10 points.
Piqua was 24 of 58 from the floor for 41 percent and seven of 17 from the line for 41 percent.
Springboro was 37 of 77 from the floor for 48 percent and two of seven from the line for 29 percent.
Springboro won the battle of the boards 37-30 and had just six turnovers to Piqua’s 17.
“I think we did a lot of good things (this season),” Grasso said. “We won 10 games and finished (tied for) third in the league,” Grasso said. “Those were some of the goals we set at the beginning of the year. We had great senior leadership and we had some guys who got some valuable experience.”
Which Grasso hopes will lead to more success in the future.
Kaleb Tabor 4-1-10, Thomas Arrington 2-0-4, Garrett Powell 5-0-13, Michael Berner 6-0-12, William Yates 7-0-17, Logan Zier 1-0-2, Conner Grevey 9-1-22, CJ Emanuel 1-0-2, Ben Ziegler 0-0-0, Zac Lvin 1-0-2, Logan Miller 0-0-0, Landon Palmer 0-0-0, Noah Moser 1-0-2. Totals: 37-2-86.
Devon Brown 4-2-10, Cory Cotrell 0-1-1, Hayden Schrubb 0-0-0, Qurri Tucker 6-0-12, Ben Schmiesing 8-3-19, Mick Karn 5-1-12, Trey Richmond 0-0-0, Riley Hill 1-0-2, Xian Harrison 0-0-0, Holden Yount 0-0-0, Trevor Billet 0-0-0, Zach Tillman 0-0-0, Dylan Motter 0-0-0. Totals: 24-7-56.
3-point field goals — Springboro: Tabor, Powell (3), Yates (3), Grevey (3). Piqua: Karn.
Score By Quarters
Springboro 21 43 69 86
Piqua 17 30 48 56
Records: Springboro 8-15, Piqua 10-13.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.