By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
PIQUA — It wasn’t also pretty Saturday for the Piqua girls basketball team against a determined Fairborn team at Garbry Gymnasium in MVL action.
But, in the end, Piqua was able to finish off a 55-44 victory — and everybody had a hand in it.
Five of the six Piqua players who had played had assists in the. game.
“Give Fairborn credit, they really battled,” Piqua coach Greg Justice said. “The thing I liked is we had 16 assists. We did a great job of sharing the ball. One of the things I was concerned about was Fairborn came in averaged about 10 to 15 offensive rebounds in their last couple games and I think we held them to four or five today.”
Piqua is soaring to new heights, improving to 8-3 on the season and 5-3 in the MVL. Fairborn dropped to 2-9 overall and 2-6 in the MVL. It is thought to be the Indians best start since back in the mid-1980s.
“I know we were a little sluggish at times,” Justice said. “But, I think the kids are a little bit out of their routine. But, that will change when we go back to school Monday. They will get back into their routine. We are really happy to be 8-3. It has been quite awhile since a Piqua team has been 8-3.”
Piqua opened an early 5-0 lead, but the. game was tied 8-8 after one quarter and 21-21 at half, when Natalie Oktavec hit a three for the Skyhawks.
The Indians then seemed to take control in the third quarter, with the high scoring Yeomans doing most of the damage.
The senior, who came in averaging 17 points a game, improved on that.
Yeomans hit 11 of 17 shots from the floor and five of six from the line in scoring 27 points, scoring eight in the second quarter and 11 in the third — when Piqua scored 19 points to open a 40-32 lead.
She had started the third quarter with a putback and followed it with an assist to Kenzi Anderson.
After Aubree Schrubb scored on a Tayler Grunkemeyer assist, Yeomans scored on a Karley Johns assist. Yeomans added a 3-point play, but a late three by Oktavec kept Fairborn within striking distance.
Jodee Austin opened the fourth quarter with a three for Fairborn.
After Yeomans scored on a length of the court pass from Johns, Austin hit two more 3-pointers and suddenly Fairborn was within 42-41.
“We knew about those two girls (Natalie Oktavec, Jodee Austin),” Justice said. “That was just some miscommunication there in the fourth quarter. Once we put Tylah (Yeomans) on her — who is a little taller girl — that made it tougher for her to shoot.”
Piqua was able to outscore Fairborn 13-4 the rest of the way.
Johns had a basket, Grunkemeyer and Yeomans combined for 3-for-4 from the line and the Indians were able to beat Fairborn’s pressure for some easy baskets from Yeomans and Schrubb.
“I thought we shot the free throws really well today,” Justice said. “Tayler (Grunkemeyer) hit the front end of a one-and-one and Tylah (Yeomans) hit two. Kathy Young hit two free throws. We missed some easy shots earlier in the quarter and we were able to make them at the end.”
Yeomans added to her point total with seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and a blocked shot.
Johns had 10 points, five assists and two steals and Schrubb just missed a double-double with 10 rebounds and nine points.
Anderson had six points and five rebounds, Grunkemeyer had six rebounds and four assists and Young had two rebounds and two assists.
Oktavec and Austin made four 3-pointers each for Fairborn.
Oktavec led the Skyhawks with 18 points, Austin scored 12 and Cassidy Mustard added eight points.
Piqua was 21 of 47 from the floor for 45 percent, including just one of seven from long range for 14 percent.
The Lady Indians converted 12 of 16 free throws for 75 percent, had 31 rebounds and 16 turnovers.
Piqua will be back in action Wednesday, traveling to Troy for another MVL game.
“We want to keep this going,” Justice said. ‘But, we have a tough stretch coming up with Troy, Butler, Sidney and Tipp.”
But, he knows if they are going to continue to win — everybody will have to have a “hand” in it.
Miyu Williams 2-0-4, Natalie Oktavec 6-2-18, Cassidy Mustard 4-0-8, Jodee Austin 4-0-12, Jasmine McMoore 0-0-0, Nakiah Duncan 0-1-1, Makenzi Culbertson 0-0-0, Kiya Milby 0-1-1. Totals: 16-4-44.
Tylah Yeomans 11-5-27, Aubree Schrubb 4-1-9, Kathy Young 0-2-2, Karley Johns 4-1-10, Tayler Grunkemeyer 0-1-1, Kenzi Anderson 2-2-6. Totals: 21-12-55.
3-point field goals — Fairborn: Oktavec (4), Austin (4). Piqua: Johns.
Score By Quarters
Fairborn 8 21 32 44
Piqua 8 21 40 55
Records: Fairborn 2-9 (2-6), Piqua 8-3 (5-3).
Contact Rob Kiser at [email protected].
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