GREENVILLE – Greenville was within 4 points entering the fourth quarter Tuesday night, but Piqua blew the game open in the final eight minutes to defeat the Wave 90-66 in a Greater Western Ohio Conference boys basketball game.
“A lot of fight in us,” Greenville coach Kyle Joseph said. “We were playing with a little shorter bench tonight due to illness, and that fatigue probably caught up to us a little bit in the fourth quarter. But we kept battling, kept playing hard.”
To make it close in the second half, Greenville first had to battle back from a slow start in the first quarter. Piqua scored the first 8 points of the game, prompting Greenville to use a timeout after just two minutes of play.
The Green Wave were able to claw their way back into the game thanks in large part to their outside shooting. They made 11 3-pointers Tuesday night, including four in the first quarter, to pull within 21-16 at the end of the opening period.
“We want to shoot a lot of 3s,” Joseph said. “We have some good 3-point shooters, and we can knock them in.”
Piqua pushed its lead to 10 points, 31-21, in the second quarter, but Greenville went on a 13-6 run to end the half and was within 3 points, 37-34, entering halftime.
Less than two minutes into the third quarter Will Coomer drained a 3-pointer that put Greenville up 39-37 – the Wave’s first and only lead of the night.
However, Piqua regained the lead less than 30 seconds later and finished the quarter leading 59-55.
With a pair of Noah Walker 3-pointers, Greenville tied the game at 61-61 early in the fourth quarter. But over the final 6:15 Piqua went on a 29-5 run to close out the victory.
“Some of those points tonight that we gave up were late, but still gave up a legit 70, 75, which is too many,” Joseph said.
Ben Schmiesing led Piqua with a game-high 35 points on Tuesday. Greenville had a difficult time stopping the Piqua senior, especially with Noah Vanhorn out with illness.
“He’s a big, strong kid in there,” Joseph said of Schmiesing. “He’s a load, and he had a great game.”
Also for Piqua, Qurri Tucker scored 19 points, Devon Brown scored 10, Nick Rigola scored 9, Hayden Schrubb scored 7, Cory Cotrell scored 5, Mick Karn scored 4, and Devin Fosler scored 1.
Coomer led Greenville with a season-high 21 points. Also for the Green Wave, Walker scored 15 points, Kyle Mills scored 9, Grant Minnich scored 9, Marcus Wood scored 7, and Tyler Beyke scored 5.
Piqua improved to 2-4 overall and 1-3 in the GWOC with Tuesday’s win while Greenville fell to 0-6 overall and 0-4 in the league.
The Green Wave will return to action with a home game against Sidney on Friday then will travel to Coldwater on Saturday.
“The great thing that I told the guys about this week is we’ve got two more games so there’s no time to sit around and think about letting this one slip away,” Joseph said. “We get to go right back at it and have another big rivalry game here at home against Sidney on Friday and then come right back around after that and play on Saturday.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.