Piqua boys win WPTW Holiday Classic in OT


PIQUA — The Comeback Kids did it again.

The Piqua boys basketball team extended its win streak to eight games in familiar fashion in the WPTW Holiday Classic championship game Thursday at Garbry Gymnasium.

The Indians improved to 8-1 by erasing a 10-point deficit midway through the third quarter and winning 53-44 in overtime — and setting up one of the most meaningful Troy-Piqua basketball games in a long time.

Graham dropped to 4-6 after Piqua erased a fourth-quarter deficit for the fourth time in the eight-game winning streak.

“First, we have been starting slow — we have to change that,” tournament MVP Dre’Sean Roberts said. “But, in all those games, the coaches have told us at halftime there are two more quarters.”

The Indians found themselves trailing 25-16 at halftime after Graham hit six 3-pointers in the opening half.

And the Indians were still trailing 31-21 in the third quarter, when Piqua’s defense changed the game.

“I just feel like the kids have done a great job of showing mental toughness this year,” Brett Kopp said.

The Indians had seven steals the rest of the way to turn the game around — and Graham had just one field goal in the fourth quarter and none in the overtime period.

“I think it was our pressure,” Dre’Sean Roberts said. “We did a better job getting out and defending the 3-point shot in the second half.”

The Indians were still trailing 34-26 late in the third quarter after a 3-pointer by Ben Stills.

But, Ky Warner had a basket and Bryson Roberts brought the Piqua crowd to their feet with a 3-pointer to close Piqua to 34-31 going to the fourth quarter.

“It just got our crowd going,” Dre’Sean Roberts said.

Kopp agreed.

“Bryson (Roberts) is a leader for us,” Kopp said. “He is a popular kid at school and all the students went wild when he hit that shot.”

The Indians followed that with the first eight points of the fourth quarter. When Mickey Anderson was fouled on a dish from Bryson Roberts and hit one of two free throws, Piqua led 39-34 with 5:06 remaining.

Two baskets by Dre’Sean Roberts made it 43-36 with less than two minutes remaining.

“Dre’Sean is a guy that just knows there are times he needs to make something happen,” Kopp said. “He will just come down and take the ball to the basket and score.”

But, Piqua was unable to hold on to the lead.

Graham hit four free throws, then Aiden Ford hit a 3-pointer with 30 seconds to go to tie the game at 43.

Piqua would miss two free throws with no time on the clock — and was 13 of 31 from the line for the game — to send the game to overtime.

“That (the poor shooting from the free throw line) has to change if we want to continue to win games,” Kopp said.

But, Graham would manage just one point in the overtime as Piqua took control right away.

Anson Cox — who was named to the all-tournament team —scored the first four points of the extra period, Dre’Sean Roberts added four points and Bryson Roberts had a basket.

“Anson (Cox) who when he gets the ball down low and plays physical, he is hard to stop,” Kopp said.

Dre’Sean Roberts finished with 21 points, eight rebunds and five steals and Bryson Roberts added 10 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.

Colten Beougher netted seven points, Ky Warner scored six points and grabbed seven rebunds and Cox added five points and seven rebounds. Mickey Anderson pulled down five rebounds.

Ben Stills led Graham with 14 points and six rebounds and Ford added 13 points and three assists.

Bode McGuire — who was named to the all-tournament team — scored nine points and William Ward had eight points, six rebounds and three assists.

Eli Hollingsworth dished out six assists.

Piqua was 19 of 56 from the floor for 34 percent, including two of 16 from long range for 13 percent.

Graham was 14 of 40 from the floor for 35 percent, including eight of 21 from 3-point range for 38 percent.

The Falcons made eight of 12 free throws for 67 percent.

Piqua dominated the boards 41-19 and had 11 turnovers to Graham’s 16.

“We hadn’t won this tournament since 2019,” Kopp said. “That is the thing I am happiest.”

As the Indians get seven off before a huge game with Troy Thursday.

You can reach Sports Editor Rob Kiser at [email protected]

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