By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
Midway through the second quarter, things didn’t look good for the Piqua girls basketball team Thursday night against Greenville in GWOC American action.
The Indians were facing a much improved Green Wave team that Piqua had beaten 60-36 earlier this season and found themselves in a 23-12 deficit.
“I was worried, you don’t want to lose to a team you beat by 24 points,” Piqua junior post Tylah Yeomans said. “It was in our head. Our shots weren’t falling.”
But, just as quickly, the momentum swung Piqua’s way and the Indians went on a 35-11 run and went on to a 63-52 victory.
With thee win, Piqua improved to 13-7 overall and 8-6 in GWOC American play, while Greenville dropped to 9-11 overall and 6-8 in GWOC American play.
“We just got more aggressive,” Yeomans, who finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and five assists, said.
Back-to-back threes by Karley Johns and Izzy Kidwell started the run and basket by Yeomans had Piqua back within 24-20 late-in the first half.
After Greenville’s Morgan Gilbert hit a jumper, Yeomans scored again, then kicked it out to Kidwell for a 3-pointer and Piqua was within 26-25 with 15 seconds to go in the half. But, Greenville’s Haleigh Mayo-Behnken hit a long three at the buzzer to make it 29-25 at the break.
“I think it did (give them confidence getting back within four),” Piqua coach Jon Dolph said. “They were triple teaming Tylay (Yeomans), but she is a great passer. I told her if she had three assists we would win and she had five. Izzy (Kidwell) just busts her butt the whole game. We are really going to miss her.”
Despite five points by Mayo-Behnken, Piqua’s momentum continued in the third quarter.
Yeomans had two early baskets —- and with Piqua trailing 34-31, the Lady Indians went on a 16-0 run that carried early into the fourth quarter and gave Piqua a 47-34 lead.
Baskets by freshman Kenzi Anderson and Yeomans gave Piqua a 35-34 lead and the momentum just carried from there.
Johns, a sophomore, and freshman Reagan Toopes, along with Kidwell all hit threes and the lead was 43-34.
Johns added two free throws to make it 45-34 and Anderson scored the first two points of the fourth quarter on an assist from Yeomans to make it 47-34 and Greenville could never get closer than seven the rest of the way.
“You saw a glimpse of the future,” Dolph said about his young team. “They are not afraid to take big shots.”
The game had started with Greenville hitting its first four 3-point attempts, three by Jada Garland and one by Lani Shilt.
Yeomans was the only one to score for Piqua in the opening quarter as the Indians trailed 14-7.
The Wave continued to build on that lead in the second quarter and after a free throw by Annie Hayes, led 23-12 before Piqua’s big comeback to tie the most wins in a season since 2000-2001.
It was the final home game for seniors Kidwell, Kelsey Bachman, Hailey McPherson and Skylar Sloan.
“It was a great way for them to go out,” Dolph said.
Kidwell added 18 points to the Piqua cause to go with Yeomans big game.
“They (Greenville) had one big girl,” Dolph said. “But, Tylah (Yeomans) just wore her down.”
Johns scored 10, Anderson had six and McPherson added five.
Mayo-Behnken had 17 points and eight rebounds for Greenville, while Garland added 12 points and Gilbert grabbed six rebounds.
Piqua was 23 of 55 from the floor for 42 percent and 11 of 16 from the line for 69 percent.
Greenville was 17 of 35 from the floor for 49 percent and 11 of 21 from the line for 52 percent.
Greenville won the battle of the boards 27-25, but had 17 turnovers to Piqua’s nine.
Now comes a big road test with Troy, who Piqua beat earlier in the season.
“We know they are going to be ready for us,” Dolph said.
The Indians travel to Troy Saturday and Bethel Monday to complete the regular season —- riding the momentum of Thursday’s big comeback.
Conact Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser at firstname.lastname@example.org