By Rob Kiser
Miami Valley Today
PIQUA — The Piqua boys basketball team will head into two big games with a little momentum.
The Indians held off Fairborn 61-55 Tuesday night in the home finale at Garbry Gymnasium.
Piqua, 8-13 overall and 6-11 in the MVL, will close the regular season Friday at Troy, who is 13-8 overall and 10-7 in the MVL.
Piqua will then open D-I tournament play with 15-5 West Carrollton at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 22 at the Vandalia SAC.
Fairborn dropped to 1-19 overall and 1-15 in the MVL with the loss.
“For sure,” Piqua coach Steve Grasso said about taking momentum into those games. “We have a big game with Troy Friday and then we have West Carrollton in the tournament.”
And in a game where Piqua was never able to quite pull away, Grasso said there was one big key.
“I thought we had a great team effort,” Grasso said. “It wasn’t just one guy. Everybody played well. But, we do have to give Garrett Schrubb (24 points) some credit. He had a big game and that is what we need from him.”
Piqua had gotten off to a slow start and trailed 17-11 late in the first quarter.
But, a Riley Hill putback and a three by Devon Sever cut the deficit to 17-16 late in the first quarter.
Piqua led throughout the second quarter and six points by Jerell Lewis in the paint helped the Indians take a 28-24 lead to the locker room.
The Indians got a four-point play to start the third quarter.
Dre’Sean Roberts was fouled as he scored.
He missed the free throw, but Schrubb grabbed the rebound and put it back in.
Baskets by Schrubb and Hill gave Piqua two different 11-point leads in the quarter.
But 3-pointers by Dwight Lewis and Blake Huffman got Xenia back within seven and Piqua led 41-33 going to the fourth quarter.
“We were switching between man and zone,” Grasso said. “I thing Xenia found something with a pick and roll.”
Piqua again took several 11 point leads in the fourth quarter.
The first came on a three-point play by Sever and the second was on a pair of Schrubb free throws.
When Xenia made a bad pass into the backcourt, the Xenia player thought the ball would go out of bounds.
But, Kameron Darner grabbed the ball before it went out and took it in for a layup and a 52-43 lead.
Brody Munger and Garrison Secrest each hit a pair of free throws for Xenia and Julius Pullen and Huffman both hit 3-pointers and suddenly Piqua was lead was 56-53 with 1:01 remaining.
But, Darner hit two free throws and Schrubb made three of four down the stretch to seal the win.
“They got as close as three points,” Grasso said. “But, that is how you win games. Free throws aren’t always going to decide the game, but a lot of times they do.”
Schrubb had 24 points and Roberts added 10. Lewis and Sever both scored seven.
Secrest led Fairborn with 11 points, while Lewis scored nine.
Tyren Schultz, Huffman and Munger all scored eight.
Tyren Schultz 4-0-8, Blake Huffman 3-0-8, Brody Munger 3-2-8, Garrison Secrest 3-5-11, Caelan Bush 2-1-6, Dwight Lewis 4-0-9, Julius Pullen 1-0-3, Nate Fasnacht 0-0-0, Patrick Parrish 0-2-2. Totals: 20-10-55.
Kameron Darner 1-3-5, Devon Sever 2-2-7, Dre’Sean Roberts 3-4-10, Garrett Schrubb 7-10-24, Iverson Ventura 1-0-2, Dylan Chaney 1-0-2, Keagan Patton 0-0-0, Riley Hill 2-0-4, Jerell Lewis 3-1-7. Totals: 20-20-61.
3-point field goals — Fairborn: Huffman (2), Bush, Lewis, Pullen.
Score By Quarters
Fairborn 17 24 33 55
Piqua 16 28 41 61
Records: Fairborn 1-19 (1-15), Piqua 8-13 (6-11).
Contact Rob Kiser at email@example.com.
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And now, Piqua will take some momentum into a big two-game stretch.