By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
The motto for the Piqua girls basketball season could easily be Al Davis’ “Just Win Baby”.
It isn’t always easy, but the Lady Indians continued down unchartered territory Monday night with a 57-54 overtime win over Stebbins at D. Hastler Gymnasium in GWOC American action.
The Lady Indians are now 9-4 and can reach double-digit wins for the first time since the 2000-2001 season when they host Xenia Wednesday at Garbry Gymnasium.
“This hasn’t happened in a long time,” junior Tylah Yeomans said about the Lady Indians success. “For sure (this is a game they might not have won in the past). We are gaining confidence with every game.”
And it took all of that for Piqua to improve to 9-4 overall and 5-3 in GWOC American play against Stebbins, who is 3-8 overall and 1-4 in GWOC American play.
And it is not always perfect, as the 21 turnovers Piqua had Monday would indicate. The Lady Indians were playing from behind much of the game, but found a way to get into overtime and win the game.
“We have each other’s backs out there,” junior Izzy Kidwell, who scorched the nets with five of nine 3-point shooting, said. “We have a a lot of confidence.”
And with Yeomans, just back from an ankle injury, and Kidwell combining for 40 points, Piqua was able to survive going 4-for-11 from the line in overtime to get the win.
“Sometimes, we make things difficult,” Piqua coach Jon Dolph said. “But, the girls are playing with a lot of confidence. They do what they need to do to win the game.”
Piqua had the lead in every quarter, but also trailed in every quarter and never led at the end of a quarter until the overtime.
Piqua had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but Yeomans missed two free throws with 1.4 seconds left on the clock to send the game to overtime.
“Tylah (Yeomans) was a little upset about that,” Dolph said. “But, we always talk about that’s over, next play. And that was great to see Izzy (Kidwell) have a big game like that. That girls just busts her butt and gives 100 percent all the time out there.”
And Yeomans showed her character in a big way.
Not only did she play more minutes than she expected in her first game back from injury, she scored five quick points in overtime to give Piqua a 54-49 lead they would never relinquish.
“I had to make up for missing those free throws,” Yeomans said. “I didn’t (expect to play that much). I didn’t expect the game to be that close.”
Dolph was not surprised.
“She came right back and scored five points just like that,” he said. “It seems like the way teams are packing it in and making us shoot from outside. We have been working really hard on that in practice and Izzy (Kidwell) had a great game.”
Kidwell, Bachman and Karley Johns all hit one free throw each in the extra period and that was enough to hold on for the win.
“This is big,” Kidwell said about being 9-4. “This hasn’t happened in awhile.”
Two Kidwell threes had Piqua in front 10-4 in the early going, but Stebbins answered with nine straight points to close the quarter.
Piqua scored the first seven points of the second quarter to go up 17-13, only to have Stebbins answer with an 8-1 run for a 21-18 halftime advantage.
The third quarter was typical of the game.
With Piqua trailing 23-20, Kidwell hit a three. After Haylee Gunter answered with a three for Stebbins, Kidwell hit another three to tie it at 26.
“That just hypes me up after a make on to hit another one,” Kidwell said. “My teammates did a great job getting me the ball.”
Kidwell scored on a Johns assist and Johns scored to make it 30-26, but once again Stebbins would rally to take a 37-36 lead to the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter was back-and-forth.
Piqua’s first lead came when Hailey McPherson hit two free throws with 3:02 remaining to make it 45-43.
Yeomans scored off a Johns assist to give the Indians a 49-47 lead, but Shelbie Morgan hit two free throws with 1:07 remaining to tie it a 49 and it stayed that way until overtime.
Yeomans had 21 points, eight rebounds, two steals and a block. Kidwell added 19 points and two steals, while Johns had seven rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Bachman added three assists.
Gunter led Stebbins with 14 points.
Korina Murphy netted 11, Morgan scored 10 and Kristine George added eight.
Piqua was 18 of 45 from the floor for 40 percent, six of 18 from long range for 33 percent and 15 of 29 from the line for 52 percent. The Indians had 29 rebounds, 13 assists and six steals.
Piqua was coming off another gutty win, rallying in the fourth quarter for a 51-41 win over West Carrollton on Thursday.
Elise Cox got her first varsity start for the Lady Indians in the game.
Kenzi Anderson led the Indians with 13 points and eight rebounds, while Andrea Marrs added 12 points and eight rebounds.
Kidwell had eight points and four. steals, Stewart scored seven points and Johns had six rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Now, Xenia visits and for Piqua, it will be an opportunity to reach double digits by “Just Winning”.
Izzy Kidwell 6-2-19, Andrea Marrs 2-1-5, Skylar Sloan 0-0-0, Kelsey Bachman 2-1-5, Kenzi Anderson 0-0-0, Hailey McPherson 0-2-2, Karley Johns 1-3-5, Chloe Stewart 0-0-0, Tylah Yeomans 7-6-21. Totals: 18-15-57.
Shelbie Morgan 2-5-10, Kennedie Lingg 0-4-4, Kristine George 3-2-8, Korina Murphy 5-0-11, Haylee Gunter 6-0-14, Kaitlyn Seibel 2-0-4, Katelynn Johnson 0-0-0, Olivia Newlin 0-3-3. Totals: 18-14-54.
3-point field goals — Piqua: Kidwell (5), Yeomans. Stebbins: Morgan, Murphy, Gunter (2).
Score By Quarters
Piqua 10 18 36 49 57
Stebbins 13 21 37 49 54
Records: Piqua 9-4 (5-3), Stebbins 3-8 (1-4).
Reserve score: Piqua 44, Stebbins 37.
Contact Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser at (937) 451-3334 or firstname.lastname@example.org