By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
PIQUA — It was another tough night for the Piqua boys basketball team.
And while Sidney coach John Willoughby was able to pick up his 400th win in a 69-50 over the Indians, Piqua coach Steve Grasso saw marked improvemetn in his team.
“This was the team I had expected to see,” Grasso said as his team dropped to 0-2 overall and in the MVL and Sidney improved to 2-0 overall and in the MVL.
In a physical battle in which both teams shot 30 free throws, Piqua stayed in the game for three quarters.
Piqua jumped out to a fast start on the Jackets, taking an early 7-2 lead.
Iverson Ventura opened the game with a 3-pointer and Kameron Darner and Riley Hill hit two free throws each to build the lead.
But, Sidney quickly recovered.
Darren Taborn scored inside and Trey Werntz quickly hit a three to tie it 7-7.
Dominick Durr added a 3-point play to give Sidney the lead for good at 10-7.
Sidney led 14-12 after one quarter, then stretched it to 32-25 at halftime.
Devin Taborn had eight second quarter points and Durr had eight points in the first half.
Ventura had 10 points for Piqua in the first half and Darner scored seven
Sidney continued to build the lead in the third quarter, opening a 47-38 lead and pulled away in the fourth quarter.
One way Piqua was able to stay in the game was with a physical defense, led by Jerell Lewis and Hill.
“We kind of went to our football lineup,” Grasso said. “That definitely helped us on the defensive end.
The Jackets scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter to put the game away.
Werntz started the scoring with two free throws.
Darren Taborn scored, then hit a three and was fouled.
Taborn missed the free throws, but Sidney got a putback on the rebound to make it 56-38 and Sidney maintained that lead the rest of the way.
“We played well for three quarters,” Grasso said. “Now, the next thing we have to do is find a way to win the game in the fourth quarter once we are there.”
Darren Taborn led a balanced Sidney attack with 15 points.
Durr scored 14, Devin Taborn had 13, Lathan Jones netted 10 and Werntz had eight.
Ventura and Darner paced Piqua with 12 points each and Hill added nine.
Piqua won the freshman game, while Sidney won the varsity girls game 49-40.
The JV games will be played this morning at Garbry Gymnasium, with the girls JV tipping at 10 a.m.
Piqua boys will get a third straight tough test Tuesday, traveling to Tippecanoe.
“It is going to be another tough game,” Grasso said. “We just have to work on getting better and going to Tipp Tuesday and see what we can do.”
Contact Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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