By Josh Brown
Troy Daily News
TROY — It only made sense that Jaden Owens’ buzzer-beating half-court shot at the end of the first quarter went straight through the net.
After all, the Trojans had been regularly hitting shots from far behind the 3-point line already.
Tre’Vone Archie hit a pair of 3s from five feet past the line and Caillou Monroe and Jacob Martinez both hit one to help erase an early deficit as Troy hit five first-quarter 3s as six different Trojans combined to hit a whopping 13 of them on the night, leading the Troy boys basketball team to an 86-63 victory over rival Piqua Friday at the Trojan Activities Center.
Archie hit four 3s on the night and scored 21 points to lead the Trojans (3-2, 3-2 Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division) — who had five players in double figures on the night. Archie also unofficially finished with eight assists and five rebounds on the night, kicking to open teammates once his shooting drew the defense’s attention.
“We’re not that big inside. We don’t really have a true big man, so we like to shoot a lot,” Archie said. “And we’ve got a lot of good shooters, so once I hit a few shots and they came to double team me, there’s other people on the team that can shoot and I just looked for my teammates.”
“Tre’Vone played a great game,” Bremigan said. “Not only did he shoot the ball well, but I thought he played a great floor game. He had some nice assists in there, too.”
Piqua (1-5, 1-4 GWOC American North) led 7-3 early, but the Trojans tied the score at 9-9 and a 3 by Martinez gave them the lead with less than two minutes to go in the first. Archie then hit his two longest bombs of the night, one from each wing, to give Troy an 18-13 lead.
And that’s when Owens — the hero of Tuesday’s Troy win at Tippecanoe, hitting a free throw with no time on the clock to give the Trojans a one-point win — grabbed a rebound after an Indian miss, dribbled just behind the half-court line, took aim and let loose a buzzer-beating shot that made the lead 21-13 after one. And from there, it was all Troy.
“It was a case where, once we made a half-court shot at the end of the first quarter, we couldn’t do anything wrong,” Bremigan said. “We had 13 3s. And whenever you do that, you’re going to have it from different guys. We’ve been really working hard on catching the ball and being ready to shoot. We figured we’d see some zone tonight out of Piqua, and we saw some — not as much as we thought we’d see. But if you’re shooting the ball the way we shot in the first half, I don’t think they could play zone as much. And I thought our bigs did a nice job of kicking the ball out, too.”
And even though 13 3s is an impressive number, Piqua coach Steve Grasso was more concerned with the Indians’ 25 turnovers — many of which turned into fast-break baskets the other way.
“That, and us turning the ball over too much,” he said. “They capitalized on that, had some run-out layups. But they hit a half-court shot at the end of the first quarter, and we went into shellshock mode. And we weren’t able to bounce back from that, unfortunately.”
Archie and Monroe were the catalysts of the fast break throughout the game, with the majority of Archie’s eight assists and Monroe’s five coming in transition.
“We were just running down the court. It’s good the way we do it,” Archie said. “In practice, we run as a team. Coach tells us to run, because we like to get out in transition and run and look for everybody. We’re pretty young, too. We’ve got three seniors, so we’re trying to build some chemistry.”
Monroe also had a monstrous one-handed throw-down dunk to punctuate a 14-0 second quarter run as Troy outscored Piqua 22-1 in between the second and third quarters, taking a 44-24 halftime lead. The lead grew to as many as 32 points at 70-38 after a tip-in at the third quarter buzzer by Sam Shaneyfelt.
“That was a great hustle play by him,” Bremigan said. “Wouldn’t expect anything less. And Caleb (Fogarty), it was good to see him shoot the ball tonight, too. I know he’s a better shooter than what he’s shown, too. I thought Caillou played a solid game, rebounding at both ends and defending and getting loose balls. He had some outstanding plays that showed his athleticism, too. It was pretty nice.”
After Archie’s 21 points, Fogarty finished with 14 points and four rebounds for the Trojans, Owens had 14 points, Monroe had 12 points, five assists and four rebounds and Martinez had 12 points. Shaneyfelt finished with six points, five rebounds and three assists and Arik Viney had three points.
And Troy’s Andrew Holley, whose mother passed away last week, entered the game to thunderous applause in the fourth quarter, finishing with four points, three rebounds and two assists.
“It felt pretty great,” Holley said. “I didn’t have any words when I came out (onto the floor). All I could do was smile.”
Qurri Tucker led all scorers with 22 points and six rebounds for Piqua and Micah Karn had 11 points and four rebounds, but they were the lone Indians in double figures. Garrett Schrubb scored seven points, Zach Tillman scored six points, Marquis Jordan added five and Trey Richmond, Kameron Darner and MaKeegan Kuhn each had four as Piqua did outscore Troy 25-16 in the fourth quarter.
“We’ll keep fighting. We’ve just got to find the right solutions,” Grasso said. “We’re looking for the best way for this team to be successful. We just haven’t quite figured it out yet.”
Troy and Piqua split the season series last year, with each team winning on the road — and the Indians winning the regular-season finale 49-42. The 86 points by Troy Friday night were the most the Trojans have scored in one game since a 98-93 loss to Sidney on Feb. 13, 2015.
“It makes it a lot more special,” Archie said of the performance coming against Piqua. “They’ve been talking about us since the summer, so we’ve just had to take that. It’s a rivalry game, so we’re going to play as hard as we can.”
“Like in any rivalry, the kids on both sides play hard and they want to beat each other, but it was a clean, hard-played game,” Troy coach Paul Bremigan said. “And we shot the ball better than we have all year.”
Piqua hosts the WPTW Classic tournament next week, kicking it off with a game against Lehman Thursday. Troy will be back in action Dec. 28 at Springfield Shawnee then return home Dec. 29 to face Ponitz.
Josh Brown is the Sports Editor of the Troy Daily News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.