By Rob Kiser
The Piqua boys basketball fans may have been more impressed with the flashy offense.
But, that’s not what caught coach Heath Butler’s eye in the Indians 72-44 win over St. Marys Saturday night.
“Everybody gets excited about the layup and 3-point shots,” Butler said. “But, the best thing was the way we came out and guarded people tonight. That’s what we can do when we play defense like that.”
For the second straight night, junior Nate Monnin was a man among boys in the paint, finishing with 22 points and 16 rebounds.
“Nate (Monnin) really played well,” Butler said. “The great thing about Nate is he is starting to understand he doesn’t have to touch the ball to affect the game.”
After feeling ill Friday, Colton Bachman returned to form with 27 points on 10 of 15 shooting from the floor — including four NBA range threes.
“Again, I think with Colton it started with the defense and creating opportunities on offense,” Butler said. “And when Colton (Bachman) can spot up, he can knock down threes like that.”
While Piqua was in control from the start, St. Marys junior Derek Jay kept the Roughridgers within striking distance in the opening half.
He scored 14 points, including four 3-pointers as Piqua lead 18-11 after one quarter and 33-20 at halftime.
Piqua started the second half with a 10-0 run and opened a 52-31 lead after three quarters and never looked back.
“It was (good to see them put the game away),” Butler said. “I thought we came out with intensity on defense.”
Nash Black grabbed six rebounds off the bench, while CJ Davis and Bachman both pulled down five.
Jay led St. Marys with 23 points and five rebounds.
Piqua, 7-5, was 28 of 56 from the floor for 50 percent and six of 10 from the line for 60 percent.
St. Marys, 4-6, was 16 of 47 from the floor for 34 percent and six of 12 from the line for 50 percent.
The Indians won the battle of the boards 47-19 and both teams had turnovers.
“With Tyren (Cox) back (he played his first game Saturday) and Nash (Black) — along with the other guys, we have some big bodies in there to rebound,” Butler said.
Piqua will play at Vandalia-Butler Friday, before playing Marion Catholic (Ill.) in the Flyin’ To The Hoop tournament at 10 a.m. Jan. 18 at Trent Arena.
“I think our best basketball is still in front of us,” Butler said.
As the Indians put on display Saturday night.
St. Marys (44)
Jacob Grannan 3-2-8, Randy Slife 1-0-2, Drew Jacobs 1-1-4, Derek Jay 8-2-23, Austin Wilker 1-0-2, Colin Clements 0-0-0, Bo Kuenning 0-0-0, Colin Grothause 2-1-5, Josh Wingett 0-0-0. Totals: 16-6-44.
Bradley Hohlbein 1-0-2, Derrick Gullett 1-0-3, Nate Monnin 9-2-22, CJ Davis 2-1-7, Colton Bachman 10-3-27, Caleb Patton 1-0-2, Brady Hill 0-0-0, Ben Schmiesing 0-0-0, Nash Black 0-0-0, Tyren Cox 2-0-4, Gage Smith 2-0-5, JJ Rohrbach 0-0-0, Cam Ashton 0-0-0, Hunter Hawk 0-0-0. Totals: 28-6-72.
3-point field goals — St. Marys: Jacobs, Jay (5). Piqua: Gullett, Monnin (2), Davis (2), Bachman (4), Smith.
Score By Quarters
St. Marys 11 20 31 44
Piqua 18 33 52 72
Records: St. Marys 4-7, Piqua 7-5.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.