By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
ST. PARIS — It didn’t come easy for the Piqua girls basketball team.
Playing a much improved Graham team, the Lady Indians were up to every challenge thrown at them and came away with a 56-40 victory to open the season Tuesday night.
Piqua was already dealing with Chloe Stewart being lost for the season and Andrea Marrs being out for several more weeks with injuries.
Then, the Indians were thrown another curveball when sophomore point guard Reagan Toopes injured her knee during warmups.
“We have dealing with quite a few injuries,” Piqua coach Greg Justice said. “Then, we lost our starting point guard when she was injured warming up. Kathy Young was the girl who stepped in for her and she was fantastic. She may not have had big numbers in stats, but she did a lot of little things for us.”
Then, Graham’s Katelyn Nash and Brooke Shoemaker combined for five 3-point field goals in the opening quarter to turn an early 6-3 Piqua lead to a 15-9 Graham advantage after one quarter.
“We got off to a rough start,” Justice said. “But, Graham hit five 3-point field goals, which we weren’t expecting. It wasn’t that we didn’t play good defense. They just hit shots. But, they only finished with seven (3-pointers), so we did a pretty good job defensively after that.”
Piqua didn’t help themselves in the early going, making just three of eight free throw attemptsin the opening quarter and finishing of 23 from from the line for the game for 44 percent.
“What I can tell you is we led the GWOC in free throw attempts and free throws made,” Justice said. “So, we are going to be going to the line. That is the strength of our game. To get the ball inside to Tylah (Yeomans) and Aubree (Schrubb).”
Yeomans took over in the second quarter, scoring 10 of her game-high 22 points.
Piqua scored the first nine points of the quarter and limited Graham to two field goals in the second quarter — using a 22-7 advantage to open a 31-22 halftime lead.
“It is nice to have a player like Tylah (Yeomans), who can score in the paint, come out and handle the ball on the perimeter — and even score from the perimeter.”
While Piqua was in control throughout the second half, they faced another challenge midway through the third quarter when Yeomans picked up her fourth foul.
After Graham got within 35-26, Kenzi Anderson immediately answered with a dish inside to Schrubb and hitting a three on the next possession to make it 40-26, before Graham’s Nash closed the third quarter with a three to make it 40-29.
Graham could never get closer than 11 in the fourth quarter, as the Piqua guards did a great job of finding Schrubb inside for some easy baskets.
“I thought what we were able to do is spread the floor and open things up inside,” Justice said.
Yeomans also grabbed five rebounds, while Schrubb had a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds and Karley Johns scored 11 points, while taking over the point guard duties and dishing out five assists.
Young had three assists, while Yeomans had four steals and Schrubb added three.
“I thought one of the big things is we only had eight turnovers,” Justice said.
Nash was the lone Falcon in double figures with 16 points, while Lexi King had 11 rebounds and Lauran Bailey dished out four assists.
Along with the free throw shooting, Piqua was 22 of 50 from the floor for 44 percent, including just two of 10 from 3-point range for 20 percent.
Graham was 12 of 42 from the floor for 29 percent, including seven of 19 from long range for 37 percent. The Falcons made nine of 15 free throws for 60 percent.
The Falcons also took care of the ball, with just nine turnovers.
The Lady Indians won the battle of the boards 28-27.
Piqua will return to action Saturday night, with a road game at Bellefontaine — again looking to answer all the challenges..
Tylah Yeomans 10-2-22, Aubree Schrubb 6-1-13, Kathy Young 2-0-5, Karley Johns 3-5-11, Kenzi Anderson 1-1-4, Elise Cox 0-1-1, Adde Honeycutt 0-0-0. Totals: 22-10-56.
Katelyn Nash 4-4-16, Lauran Bailey 3-0-7, Brooke Shoemaker 2-0-6, Elise Kemp 1-0-2, Lexi King 1-3-5, Arial Cupps 0-0-0, Abby Yukon 1-2-4, Blair Werner 0-0-0, Marlee Kite 0-0-0. Totals: 12-9-40.
3-point field goals — Piqua: Young, Anderson. Graham: Nash (4), Bailey, Shoemaker (2).
Score By Quarters
Piqua 9 31 40 56
Graham 15 22 29 40
Records: Piqua 1-0, Graham 0-2.
Reserve score: Graham 24, Piqua 21.
Contact Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser at email@example.com.
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