By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
TROTWOOD —- It may have not been the ending the Piqua boys basketball team hoped for the season.
But, Centerville’s top seeded Elks squad showed why they earned that status in Trotwood Division I sectional action Friday night, handling the Indians 64-29.
Centerville improved to 18-5 on the season with the win, while Piqua finished at 7-16.
“Centerville is a really good team,” Piqua coach Steve Grasso said.
After a basket by Mick Karn and a three by Trey Richmond, Piqua trailed just 6-5 in the early going.
But, Centerville opened a 21-11 lead after the opening quarter, with Ryan Ballard almost matching the Indians with nine points.
And the Elks 6-foot-9 post Mo Njie was an intimidating presence around the basket as Piqua scored just four points in the second quarter and two in the third.
“Centerville plays great defense,” Grasso said. “They have a 6-9 post who makes it tough to get to the basket. And, when he is not in there, they do a great job of stepping up and taking charges when you go the basket.”
As a result, Piqua fell behind 33-15 at halftime and 55-17 after three quarters.
Karn led Piqua with eight points, while Kameron Darner and Richmond both scored five.
Matt Pearce scored 13 points in the second half and led Centerville with 15, while Kaleb Mitchell scored all 10 of his points in the second half.
Ballard finished with nine, while Ryan Marchal and Davis Mumaw both scored six.
Grasso felt Piqua accomplished much more this season than the seven wins reflected.
“We had some special moments,” he said. “The highlight was probably winning our Christmas tournament.”
Friday was the final game for seniors Mick Karn, Trey Richmond, Zach Tillman and Qurri Tucker.
“Qurri (Tucker) having a top five game (41 points against Greenville) was really special,” Grasso said. “Mick (Karn) hit big shots all year. Trey (Richmond) is still getting better. I think his best basketball is ahead. And Zach (Tillman) does a nice job with his shot. He is one of the top five shooters in the GWOC in field goal percentage.”
Grasso only had one disappointment.
“We want to improve every year,” he said. “And we took a step back this year. We will work on that.”
After not being able to overcome the challenge against the top-seeded Elks.
Ryan Marchal 3-0-6, Matt Pearce 6-0-15, Mo Njie 0-3-3, Kebba Archimalo 2-0-4, Davis Mumaw 2-0-6, Ryan Ballard 4-0-9, Jason Sneed 1-0-2, Kaleb Mitchell 5-0-10, Tim Ankenbauer 1-0-3, Corey Burnette 1-0-2, Kebba Njie 0-0-0, Andre Zimmerman 1-0-2, Drew Thompson 0-0-0, A. Velasco 1-0-2, R. Clark 0-0-0. Totals: 27-3-64.
Qurri Tucker 1-0-2, Kameron Darner 2-1-5, Trey Richmond 2-0-5, Mick Karn 4-0-8, Garrett Schrubb 0-0-0, Zack Lavey 0-0-0, Zach Tillman 2-0-4, Iverson Ventura 1-0-3, Riley Hill 0-0-0, Devon Sever 0-0-0, Caleb Lyons 1-0-2. Totals: 13-1-29.
3-point field goals — Centerville: Pearce (3), Mumaw (2), Ballard, Ankenbauer. Piqua: Richmond, Ventura.
Score By Quarters
Centerville 21 33 55 64
Piqua 11 15 17 29
Records: Centerville 18-5, Piqua 7-16.