By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
When first-year coach Jon Dolph took over the Piqua girls basketball program, he talked about them being a family.
It didn’t take long for that point to be made.
Freshman Elise Cox had major surgery earlier this week and is facing a long recovery in the hospital.
So, after the Lady Indians achieved another milestone with win number 10 by a 71-26 score over Xenia Wednesday night at Garbry Gymnasium, the team was quick to line up for a photo with score in the background to send to Cox, who received a varsity start in her final game before the surgery.
“We are a family,” Dolph said. “We have to do everything we can do to keep Elise’s (Cox) spirits up. For sure (seeing what she is going through can be motivation for the players).”
And Piqua continued down unchartered territory, at least recently, with the win.
It is Piqua’s first double-digit win season since Dan Penrod’s squad went 13-10 and advanced to the section finals in 2000-2001.
“That’s the team we are chasing,” Dolph said. “But, we have to get win number 11 before that. It is one game at a time. (Kelsey) Bachman said something in the locker room about never being in this position before. We are trying to change the culture.”
And the young team had no trouble dispatching of Xenia for the second time this season.
Tylah Yeomans scored 11 points in the opening quarter as Piqua jumped out to a 15-4 lead and was never seriously challenged.
The Lady Indians led 30-6 at halftime and 52-15 after three quarters.
Yeomans, who had more points than Xenia when she left the game, finished with 21 points to lead Piqua.
Izzy Kidwell scored nine and Chloe Stewart added eight.
Skylar Sloan and Karley Johns both scored seven points, Reagan Toopes added six and Kenzi Anderson scored five.
Briley Blackburn and Brynna Mardis scored five points each for Xenia, who dropped to 1-12.
Dolph admitted the team’s expectations have risen with the success this season has brought.
“Definitely,” he said. “The kids are gaining in confidence. But, it is still a work in progress. There are still a lot of things we have to get better at. We just keep working at it every day in practice.”
Now, the Indians have a 10-day break before a big game with Fairborn. And it is coming at a good time. Yeomans is working back to full strength from an ankle injury and freshman post Aubree Schrubb could return for that game.
“Schrubby (Aubree Schrubb) is going to the doctor Friday,” Dolph said. “So, hopefully we will have her back. We will need her against Fairborn. That will be a really tough game.”
And be another chance to lift one of the “family” members spirits.
Haley McManus 1-0-3, Kamea Baker 1-1-3, Reaghan Wakefield 1-2-4, Alashia Adams 2-0-4, Makynna Carr 0-0-0, Bynna Mardis 2-0-5, Kelli Hatfield 1-0-2, Briley Blackburn 2-0-5, Olivia Wakefield 0-0-0. Totals: 10-3-26.
Reagan Toopes 2-0-6, Tylah Yeomans 9-2-21, Izzy Kidwell 3-2-9, Andrea Marrs 1-0-2, Skylar Sloan 2-2-7, Hailey McPherson 2-0-4, Karley Johns 2-3-7, Kelsey Bachman 1-0-2, Kenzi Anderson 1-3-5, Chloe Stewart 4-0-8. Totals: 27-12-71.
3-point field goals — Xenia: McManus, Mardis, Blackburn. Piqua: Toopes (2), Yeomans, Kidwell, Sloan.
Score By Quarters
Xenia 4 6 15 26
Piqua 15 30 52 71
Records: Xenia 1-12, Piqua 10-4.
Reserve score: Piqua 56, Xenia 15.
Contact Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser at (937) 451-3334 or firstname.lastname@example.org