By Josh Brown
PIQUA — Despite dominating play for most of the first half, particularly on the defensive end, Troy still only led rival Piqua by six and then seven points.
Jordan Short changed that, though.
The sophomore came off the bench to hit three 3-pointers late in the second quarter and Bailey Dornbusch added one more for good measure to help the Trojans take a 17-point halftime lead, and it was all over from there as the Troy girls basketball team finished off the season sweep of the Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division rival Indians with a 48-21 victory Wednesday night in Piqua.
With the Trojans (7-9, 3-3 GWOC North) only leading 14-8 despite only allowing three field goals in a quarter and a half, Short came off the bench and immediately drilled a 3. After a pair of Piqua free throws made it a 17-10 game, Short knocked down another to make it a 10-point game. A Troy free throw and Piqua bucket had Troy’s lead at nine before Short and Dornbusch hit back-to-back 3s to make it a 15-point game, and Alaura Holycross capped off the half with a bucket inside as the Trojans went into the locker room up 29-12.
“We thought this game would be a little tougher than when we played them at our place,” Troy coach Nathan Kopp said, referring to a 51-15 Trojan victory at home on Dec. 28. “We were up about 17-10 and got a huge spark from sophomore Jordan Short.
“If we only go into the locker room up seven, they (Piqua) still think it’s a game. Going in with a 17-point lead changes the whole dynamic of it.”
One thing that never changed throughout, though, was the Trojans’ defensive pressure.
Troy forced more turnovers in the game — 24 — than points allowed, holding Piqua to a 6 for 29 performance from the field. Mikayla Schaffner led Piqua with five points, Lily Stewart and Carly Brown both scored four and four other Indians scored two apiece.
“Our pressure hurt them in the beginning … in the whole game, really,” Kopp said. “Freshman Kiyha Adkins had her hands on just about every pass they threw. She ended up with five steals in the game.”
And with Troy still leading by 17 at 34-17 late in the third, they got a knockout blow from another bench player as Jenna Kaup drained a 3 at the buzzer. The Trojan defense then didn’t allow a field goal in the fourth, and Troy cruised to the win.
“Bailey Hess got a steal and Jenna Kaup hit a 3 right at the buzzer, and that gave us a 20-point lead going into the fourth,” Kopp said. “We hit seven 3s in this game. Our percentage may not be the best, but we’ve got a few kids that can knock them down. Going 7 for 23 from 3? I’ll take that.”
Short ended up leading all scorers with her nine second-quarter points, as no one reached double digits. Sierra Besecker had eight points and three assists, Holycross had eight points and a team-high seven rebounds, Hess — who had a career-high 24 points in the Trojans’ first win over Piqua this season — had seven points, Adkins had four points, five rebounds and five steals and Maddy Taylor had four points. Dornbusch and Kaup each chipped in three and Taylor Stookey scored two.
“We played 11 players religiously all night, and the more balanced we can be offensively, the harder it is for the defense to key on just one player,” Kopp said. “But we got a huge spark from Jordan and Bailey Dornbusch in the second. Those 12 points were key tonight.
“We talked to the seniors about going out 2-0 against their rival,” Kopp said. “Sweeping this series this year was important to them, and they went out and did it.”
Troy’s next four games are all GWOC North matchups, beginning on the road at Greenville Saturday night.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.