By Rob Kiser
Miami Valley Today
PIQUA — The Troy girls basketball team had been waiting for Saturday afternoon since a Jan. 8 overtime loss to Piqua.
It had fueled the Trojans to seven wins in eight games since — turning their season around.
And Troy made it eight wins in nine games with a 47-32 win over Piqua Saturday at Garbry Gymnasium.
“The girls wanted this game badly,” Troy coach Aaron Johnson said. “Our practices the last two weeks have been the most intense we have had all season. I felt like the girls could have played better in that first game. Since that game, they changed their little chant to, ‘Play Together, Stay Together’.”
And while the Trojans improved to 13-8 overall and 12-6 in the Miami Valley League Miami Division and Piqua dropped to 15-6 overall and 11-6 in the MVL, the Indians thoughts were with what appeared to be the end of an amazing athletic career by Tylah Yeomans.
Yeomans, the leading scorer in the MVL, who is also second in field goal percentage and third in rebounds, went down with a serious ankle injury early in the fourth quarter.
Piqua was trailing 36-30 at the time, with 6:12 remaining in the game when feet got tangled on a rebound and Yeomans went down, bringing the crowd to a hush.
“My heart goes out to Tylah (Yeomans),” Johnson said. “She is such a nice young lady and such a talented athlete. You don’t ever want to see that happen to anyone. I don’t want to speak for the Piqua coaches, but it had to take the wind out of their sails. She has to be the heart-and-soul of that team.”
Piqua coach Greg Justice agreed.
“It doesn’t look good (her playing again this season),” he said. “It is a tough situation. Honestly, I thought we played well enough defensively. We just didn’t score enough. We had nine points in the second half.”
The game was an even battle for the first three quarters.
Laura Borchers hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter to get Troy off to a fast start, but Piqua closed to 15-14 at the end of the quarter.
“She did (Laura Borchers hit some big 3s,” Johnson said. “It felt like we had a lot more balance today. One of the things Macie (Taylor) said to the team this week is it can’t just be her and Tia (Bass). I think we did a good job of that.”
But, with Troy leading 23-17 late in the first half, both Tia Bass and Macie Taylor went to the bench because of fouls.
“We have a tendency to get in foul trouble,” Johnson said. “But, give Piqua credit. We got in foul trouble because Piqua attacked the basket.”
Yeomans responded with six straight points, leaving it tied at 23 at half.
Yeomans had 15 points in the first half, making all five of her free throw attempts.
“One of the things we wanted to do was try to contain Tylah (Yeomans),” Johnson said. “By that, I mean not let her get to the line. We didn’t do a good job of that in the first half, but I thought we did a better job in the second half.”
At the same time Macie Taylor came to life after a four-point first half.
She scored nine points in the third quarter and 17 in the second half.
Piqua had taken a 30-27 lead with 1:19 to go in the third quarter when Karley Johns hit a 3-pointer.
But, Macie Taylor responded with seven straight points to start a 20-2 Troy run to end the game.
It was 34-30 when Tia Bass scored on a rebound as Yeomans was injured and Troy took control from there.
“I feel bad for Tylah (Yeomans),” Justice said. “We knew this was going to be a tough game. We just have to try and go on from here.”
Macie Taylor led all scorers with 21 points, while Bass had six points and seven rebounds.
Borchers and MaKenna Taylor scored six points and Brynn Siler grabbed seven rebounds. Elise McCann pulled down five rebounds and scored five points.
Yeomans had 19 points and six rebounds in three quarters-plus.
Aubree Schrubb had five points and nine rebounds and Johns also scored five points.
Troy was 18 of 48 from the floor for 38 percent and seven of 13 from the line for 54 percent.
Piqua was 11 of 36 from the floor for 31 percent and eight of 15 from the line for 53 percent.
Troy dominated the boards 31-19 and had 10 turnovers to Piqua’s 13.
Contact Rob Kiser at [email protected].
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