By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
SIDNEY — For those who watch Piqua girls basketball sophomore Aubree Schrubb, there is no question why she is the leading rebounder in the Miami Valley League.
It doesn’t have so much to do with her being 6-foot tall, as the fact she leaves everything out on the floor when she plays a game.
And a 42-36 road win over Sidney on Wednesday was no exception.
Schrubb pulled down 21 rebounds, adding to her MVL average of more than 12 per game and added four blocked shots.
Piqua got a split of the season series with Sidney and improved to 10-4 overall and 7-4 in MVL Miami Division play.
Sidney, who is on its way to the MVL Valley title, dropped to 11-4 overall and 8-3 in MVL play.
“Especially coming off the loss to Vandalia (in double overtime Saturday), this was big for us,” Schrubb said. “A win like this is worth the effort. It is definitely worth the effort when you get a win like this.”
And make no mistake, it was a battle all the way.
Piqua was trailing 34-29 midway through the fourth quarter, before outscoring Sidney 13-2 the rest of the way and holding the Jackets without a field goal down the stretch.
“You can’t ever quit,” MVL leading scorer Tylah Yeomans, who scored 16 of her 21 points in the second half, said. “I know the girls look up to me and if I quit, they will quit. So, you can’t ever quit.”
Piqua coach Greg Justice couldn’t have been more pleased with the defensive effort down the stretch. And that included Kenzi Anderson, Tayler Grunkemeyer, Karley Johns and Kathy Young.
“That’s amazing,” he said about the defense. “We finally settled down out there on defense. And it wasn’t just Aubree and Tylah. Every kid contributed. This was a great team effort.”
And it was Schrubb, who gave Piqua countless extra possessions with her work on the boards, who sparked the rally.
She had a putback to close the deficit to 34-31 and followed with an assist to Johns on Piqua’s next possession to get the Lady Indians within 34-33.
“I just feel like defense and rebounding is where I belong out there,” Schrubb said.
Her coach took notice.
“Aubree (Schrubb) just had an incredible game tonight,” Justice said. “And Tylah had some big baskets. But, it wasn’t just those two.”
After a free throw by Sidney’s Kelsey Kizer, Grunkemeyer hit one of two and Schrubb banked in the second of two free throws to tie it.
Yeomans gave Piqua the lead off an assist from Johns to make it 37-35 with 2:00 to go.
Sidney, then turned the ball over on its next two possessions.
Grunkemeyer hit one of two free throws with 52.6 seconds to go and one of two with 36.2 seconds to go to make it 39-35.
On that miss, Yeomans grabbed the rebound and put it back in with 30 seconds to go to make it 41-35 Piqua.
Sidney’s Allie Stockton hit one of two free throws with 20 seconds to got and Grunkemeyer did the same with 12 seconds to go for the final margin.
“We only hit eight of 23 free throws tonight,” Justice said. “But, we made enough when we needed to in the fourth quarter to win the game.”
It was a battle from the start.
Piqua had a 10-4 lead after one quarter, but Sidney closed to within 15-12 at halftime as Piqua made just one of six free throws and was struggling to take care of the ball.
“We had 12 turnovers at halftime,” Justice said. “We came in at halftime and talked about cleaning that up.”
With the freshman phenom Stockton scoring nine points in the third quarter, Sidney took a 27-25 lead.
Kizer and Peyton Wiley hit big threes in the fourth quarter to give the Jackets a 34-29 lead, but Piqua wouldn’t be denied.
Schrubb added nine points and three assists to her state sheet, while Yeomans grabbed six rebounds.
Grunkemeyer added six points and Johns had three assists.
Stockton had 14 points for Sidney and Kizer added 10.
While Piqua shot just 35 percent from the line, the Indians were 17 of 39 from the floor for 44 percent, missing all four 3-point attempts. Piqua had 32 rebounds and 19 turnovers.
The Indians are closing in on a second straight winning season, something that hasn’t happened since the 1994-95 season.
“Coach (Greg Justice) told us that,” Yeomans said. “That is just crazy. We just want to keep the winning going. Hopefully, we can put together a winning streak together down the stretch.”
The schedule is favorable for the Indians.
After games at Tippecanoe Saturday and Fairlawn Monday, Piqua closes with six straight game against teams it has already beaten.
But, Justice understands that doesn’t mean anything.
“We have go to Fairborn and they have some good scorers,” Justice said. “A lot of those games were close games. We feel like we owe Fairlawn after they got us last year.”
One thing you know for sure — Piqua will play with the heart of champions.
Contact Rob Kiser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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