Troy girls basketball gets 27-25 win over Piqua


TROY — It all came down to the final 10 seconds.

The Troy and Piqua girls basketball teams were locked in a 25-25 tie when Troy inbounded the ball after a timeout with 19.9 seconds to go.

“We wanted to reverse the ball and either get it to Kiyah (Baker) in the middle if she was open or kick it to the corner,” Troy coach Michael Bunck said.

Payton Brewer found Jadyn Almeida open in the corner.

“It didn’t matter to me who got the ball as long as we scored,” Almeida said.

She drove the baseline and lofted a pull-up jumper between three Piqua defenders that was perfect to give Troy a 27-25 lead with 6.6 seconds left.

“We switched to a man because they were doing a good job against our zone,” Piqua coach Bruce Vanover said. “It wasn’t a layup or a post up. The girl had to hit a jumper and she did.”

On the inbounds, Troy forced a jump ball — with Piqua keeping possession with 2.2 seconds left.

After another Indian timeout, the desperation shot was well short and Troy could celebrate its first win.

“It feels great,” Almeida said about the game-winning shot. “I knew it was in when I let it go. But, to be honest, it wasn’t just me. Everybody on the team made plays.”

Bunck was excited to get his first win.

Troy improved to 1-2 overall and 1-0 in the MVL and wil play at Sidney Saturday. Piqua dropped to 0-2 overall and 0-1 in the MVL and will host Xenia Saturday.

“Of course, I am really happy for the girls,” Bunck said. “They have worked so hard. You know, Bruce Vanover has probably helped me more than any coach since I got this job. So, I have a lot of respect for him.”

It was a second close loss for the Indians.

“I am so proud of these girls,” Vanover said. “We have come a long way from last year. We have now lost two games by a total of five points. But, these girls are determined to be the ones to change the culture. They have worked so hard.”

Aubree Carroll scored six points in the opening quarter as Piqua never tailed in the opening half, leading 8-5 and 15-13 at the first two quarter breaks.

Both teams got off to a slow start in the third quarter, before Riley King scored on consecutive possessions to give Troy a 17-15 lead with 3:15 left in the third quarter.

“She is the smartest girl on the team,” Bunck said. “I told her, just don’t over think it. Just go our there and let it happen.”

Piqua closed the quarter with a 3-pointer by Logan Spradlin and 3-point play by D’Vaya Cooper to go up 21-17.

Jaelyn Smith forgot to call the bank on a long three early in the fourth quarter to get Troy back within 21-20.

Baker put Troy in frotn 22-21, before Audrey Bean answered with a bucket for Piqua.

Almeida hit two free throws to make it 24-23 at the 3:06 mark.

Spradlin scored on a putback with 1:43 to go to put the Indians up 25-24, before Baker was fouled on strong move to the basket with 1:112 to go. She hit one of two to make it 25-25.

Piqua elected to run the clock down.

“I told the girls, if you anticipate a pass, go for it,” Bunck said. “Just get your hand on it and tip it.”

With 30 seconds to go, that is exactly what happened, with Brewere coming away with the ball.

Troy had called timeout with 26.6 seconds to go, before calling another timeout with 19.9 seconds to go.

“We were kind of helter-skelter coming out of that first timeout, so I called another on Bunck said.

To set up Almeida’s game-winner.

“I guess I wanted to force her to take the shot,” Bunck said with a laugh. “She has that mentality.”

Baker led Troy with 10 points and six rebounds and Almeida added seven points and four steals.

Jaelynn Smith added eight rebounds and three assists.

Spradlin paced Piqua with 10 points and Carroll added eight points — all in the first half — and five rebounds.

Abby Brookhart had five rebounds and Bean dished out four assists.

Troy was nine for 42 from the floor for 21 percent, including four of 15 from long range for 27 percent.

The Trojans made five of 12 free throws for 42 percent.

Piqua was 11 of 34 from the floor for 32 percent, including two of five from 3-point range for 40 percent. The Indians converted one of two free throws for 50 percent.

Troy had 29 rebounds to Piqua;s 21 and both teams had 18 turnovers.

“During the summer, Bruce (Vanover) would send some of his kids over to open gyms to make sure we had at least 10 every day,” Bunck said. “A lot of these girls know each other.”

And it showed in a game that came down to the final 10 seconds.

Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]

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