By Rob Kiser
Miami Valley Today
PIQUA — The Piqua girls basketball team is getting plenty of work in this week.
After a thrilling overtime win over Troy on Wednesday, the Lady Indians were looking to climb within one game of second-place Butler in MVL action Saturday.
This time, it took two overtimes and the ending was not what Piqua had hoped for.
Behind a career-high 30 points by Butler freshman guard Sami Bardonara — who scored all eight of Butler’s points in the two extra periods — the Aviators were able to escape Garbry Gymnasium with a 55-53 victory.
Butler improved to 10-3 overall and 9-1 in MVL play with the win, while Piqua drops to 9-4 overall and 6-4 in MVL play.
And while Piqua made some great plays just to get to the extra periods, Lady Indians coach Greg Justice said it was a sign things have changed with the program.
“There are no moral victories,” Justice said. “That’s the point we are trying to make. We feel like we are a program that can compete for titles now. Quite frankly, we expected to win this game.”
The second overtime had begun with the game tied at 49, before Bardonara scored on a baseline drive and Tayler Grunkemeyer answered for Piqua.
Bardonaro scored on another baseline drive and after Piqua missed several opportunities in the paint to tie it, Bardonaro was fouled and hit two free throws to make it 55-51.
Aubree Schrubb gave Piqua life with a putback with 5.7 seconds to go, but a long inbounds pass allowed the Aviators to run out the clock and hold on for the win.
“The girls played hard,” Justice said. “There was no quit in them. It was just disappointing not to get the win.”
The first half had been evenly played before Butler outpointed Piqua 9-0 in the final 3:12 to take a 29-20 lead.
“We got some 3-point shots and we know we can hit them,” Justice said. “We just didn’t hit them today (Piqua was just 2-for-15 on 3-point attempts).”
After a 10-point first half, Bardonaro scored 20 of Butler’s 26 points in the final two quarters and the two overtimes.
“We were just trying to make sure she (Sami Bardonaro) didn’t beat us,” Justice said. “We wanted to take the ball out of her hands. But, that freshman had one whale of a game.”
Butler still had a 36-28 lead going to the fourth quarter, but there were a number of key plays that brought the Indians back.
Piqua started the quarter with Tylah Yeomans hitting one of two free throws and Kenzi Anderson grabbing the rebound on the missed free throw and scoring to make it 36-31.
With Piqua trailing 40-33, the Indians had three straight 3-point possessions.
Anderson drilled back-to-back 3-pointers.
“We know Kenzi (Anderson) can hit those shots,” Justice said. “She stepped up and hit two big ones.”
Yeomans, who scored 26 points before fouling out in the first overtime, followed with a three-point play and it was tied at 42 with 3:46 to go.
Piqua came up empty on its next two possessions and Butler was able to open a 46-42 lead.
Yeomans scored to make it 46-44, but Butler had a 47-44 with 25.4 seconds to go and was inbounding the ball at its own end.
Schrubb stole the inbounds pass and Yeomans scored with 16 seconds to go to make it 47-46.
Karley Johns then stole another Butler inbounds pass and was fouled. She hit one of two free throws to tie it at 47 with 13 seconds to go.
Piqua got the ball back with six seconds to go and had to the length of the court and Schrubb’s mid-court shot was off the mark, sending the game to overtime.
“We were trying to trap them on the inbounds and we got two big steals,” Justice said.
Piqua got the tip in the first overtime and ran almost two minutes off before Johns scored on a rebound.
Yeomans fouled out at the 1:45 mark and Bardonaro scored with 1:10 to go to tied it at 51.
Neither team could score again, setting up the deciding second overtime.
Yeomans made 10 of 14 free throws in scoring 26 points and nine offensive rebounds, seven of which were offensive.
Anderson scored 10 points and Johns had nine points and four assists.
Schrubb had another monster game on the boards with 15 rebounds, including seven offensive and added four blocked shots.
Piqua was 18 of 49 from the floor for 37 percent, including two of 15 from 3-point range for 13 percent. The Indians made 15 of 24 free throws for 63 percent, had 35 rebounds — including 19 offensive rebounds — and turned the ball over 19 times.
Now, comes another challenge Wednesday, as Piqua travels to Sidney — who beat the Indians earlier this season.
“We are 6-1 on the road, so I am not afraid of playing on the road,” Justice said.
But, he wouldn’t mind just playing four quarters for a change.
Contact Rob Kiser at [email protected].
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