By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
PIQUA — Piqua junior Garrett Schrubb didn’t know the score.
He just knew what he needed to do.
With Piqua trailing Xenia 44-43 in the final 15 seconds Friday night in MVL action at Garbry Gymnasium, Keagan Patton spotted Schrubb open inside.
Schrubb turned and fired the ball into the basket from eight-feet to give Piqua a 45-44 lead with 6.7 seconds to go and the Indians went on to win 47-44.
Piqua improved to 1-3 overall and in the MVL, while Xenia dropped to 0-5 overall and 0-4 in the MVL.
“I saw Garrett (Schrubb) was open,” Patton said. “I expected him to make the shot.”
Schrubb didn’t have time to think about anything.
“There was not time to think,” Schrubb said. “Actually, I thought we were more than one point behind, so I was just looking to get back on defense.”
Those final 6.7 seconds lasted for ever.
Xenia lost the ball under its own basket with three seconds to go.
The Bucs had only four teams fouls and had to foul Piqua three times to send them to the line.
After two quick fouls, Piqua was called for an offensive foul with 2.2 seconds to go, giving Xenia another possession.
But, Kameron Darner intercepted a pass and wasfouled with sixth-tenths of a second to go and hit two free throws for the final margin of victory.
“I knew we needed to stop them from scoring,” Darner said.
Schrubb, who had scored just 12 points all season and was shooting 27 percent from the floor — came out on fire from the start in scoring a career-high 16 points to lead the Indians.
“We just came in to practice (after Tuesday’s loss to Tippecanoe) and worked really hard for a couple days,” Schrubb said. “We just put the hard work in and worked together as a team tonight. This was huge for us.”
Piqua coach Steve Grasso agreed.
“These kids worked really hard the last couple days to get ready for this game,” he said.
While Schrubb scored 10 points in the first half and hit seven of nine shots from the floor in the game, Xenia came out on fire in the opening half.
The Bucs hit five threes in the first half — including two each by Zack Gaither and Dylan Hooiser — and stretched a 19-16 first quarter lead to 28-19 at halftime.
“Garrett (Schrubb) came out with a different energy tonight,” Grasso said. “You could see it right away. He has worked really hard in practice and came out and hit a couple threes early.”
Gaither and Shawn Thigpen scored early in the third quarter to put Xenia up 32-21 with 4:45 to go in the quarter.
But, Piqua finished the quarter on an 8-1 run to close within 33-29.
Riley Hill, Dre’Sean Roberts and Schrubb all scored and Roberts added another basket at the buzzer to make it a four-point game.
In the fourth quarter, Darner hit a three to get Piqua with 35-33, but a basket and two free throws by Hoosier made it 39-33.
Then, with 2:40 to go, Roberts hit a no-no-yes three from NBA range to suddenly make it a three-point game.
“He is just a freshman,” Grasso said, laughing about what he thought of the shot when Roberts let it go. “He definitely has a bright future in the game.”
A basket by Darner and two free throws by Roberts kept Piqua within 41-40 with 1:37 to play.
With 1:03 to go, Hill drilled a three from the top of the key to put Piqua up 43-41 as the gym erupted.
But, with 40 seconds to go, Hoosier answered with a three of his own to put Xenia up 44-43.
Hill was driving to the basket with 24.6 seconds to go when he suffered an ankle injury.
Xenia had the ball back, but with 17.9 seconds to go, they were called for an offensive foul on the inbounds play, setting up the dramatic finish.
“Nothing comes easy,” Grasso said. “But, the end of the game shows you that if you work hard, good things will happen. This was the best game Kameron Darner has ever played. That is what we expect from him. The goal was to go 1-0 tonight. It will be the same goal tomorrow (Saturday).”
Roberts added 12 points to the Piqua cause, Darner added eight and Hill netted seven.
Hoosier led Xenia with 17.
Gaither added eighth and Thigpen scored seven.
“This was huge,” Schrubb said. “I am so excited. This is my junior year and this is going to be the first of many (wins). I can’t wait to keep it going from here.”
And he and Piqua won’t have to wait long as the Indians travel to Tecumseh Saturday.
Shawn Thigpen 3-0-7, Zack Gaither 3-0-8, Dylan Hoosier 5-4-17, Isaih 1-1-3, Kevin Johnson 3-0-6, Kenji Ward 1-0-2, Matthew Caupp 0-0-0, Cameron McFarland 0-1-1. Totals: 16-6-44.
Kameron Darner 3-0-8, Keagan Patton 1-0-2, Devon Sever 0-0-0, Garrett Schrubb 7-0-16, Riley Hill 2-3-7, Iverson Ventura 1-0-2, Dre’Sean Roberts 4-2-12, Jerell Lewis 0-0-0, Layne 0-0-0, Dylan Chaney 0-0-0. Totals: 18-5-47.
3-point field goals — Xenia: Thigpen, Gaither (2), Hoosier (3). Piqua: Darner (2), Schrubb (2), Roberts (2).
Score By Quarters
Xenia 19 28 33 44
Piqua 16 19 29 47
Records: Piqua 1-3 (1-3), Xenia 0-5 (0-4).
Contact Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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