PIQUA — The Vandalia-Butler girls basketball team was looking to finish a game.
Piqua was looking to continue its progress.
And while Vandalia was able to do exactly that in a 56-33 win over the Piqua, the Lady Indians also continued to show progress.
“Our last game, we had a 16-point lead and almost ended up losing the game,” Vandalia-Butler coach Molly Bardonaro said. “We didn’t want that to happen again. We were able to get things clicking in the second half and we played great team basketball tonight.”
Piqua coach Brian Gillespie saw a lot of positives from his team, playing without injured Tylah Yeomans.
“We played solid basketball for two-plus quarters,” Gillespie said. “I thought we did a lot of good things. I like this group we are going to be fine.”
Piqua was still within 38-29, when Abbie Schoenherr beat the third quarter buzzer and Vandalia followed with the first 14 points of the fourth quarter to take a 54-29 lead and put the game away.
“We talked about that between quarters,” Bardonaro said. “Don’t let up and keep widening the gap.”
Gillespie said the Schoenherr basket was a turning point.
“There was less than three seconds left (on the inbounds play) and we let her through there,” Gillespie said. “Those are the things we have to get fixed. Those are the kind of plays that just take the air right out of you.”
After a free throw by Schoenherr, Willow Knight hit a three to make it 41-29. Megan Allan scored off a Knight assist, Tyree Fletcher hit a jumper and Jacie Dalton followed with back-to-back threes to make it 54-29 and Butler finished off the win from there.
“We were trapping a left a girl wide open for a couple threes,” Gillespie said. “That wasn’t supposed to happen.”
A three by Schoenherr to close the first quarter had given Butler a 16-7 lead and Vandalia opened it to 21-9 early in the second quarter.
But, Piqua rallied.
Kelsey Magoteaux hit two baskets, Lily Stewart hit a three and Skylar Sloan came off the bench and scored five points as Piqua closed to 23-21 with 55 seconds left in the first half.
“That’s two games in a row where Skylar (Sloan) has been a spark for us,” Gillespie said. “I think she will continue to be. I am happy for her. She has worked hard. Her and Elizabeth (Kidwell) gives us a lot of quickness out there.”
But Knight would hit a three, then add a jumper at the first half buzzer to make it 28-22.
Fletcher opened the second half with two putbacks to make it 32-22 and Piqua never got closer than eight the rest of the way.
“Those two baskets (by Willow Knight) at the end of the half were huge,” Bardonaro said. “It gave us a little cushion. I thought things started to come together tonight.”
Vandalia, 2-2 overall and 1-0 in GWOC American play, got 14 points and eight rebounds from Knight.
Fletcher had 11 points and eight rebounds and Schoenherr had 10 points and eight rebounds.
Magoteaux led Piqua with 11 points and Lauren Williams grabbed four rebounds.
Vandalia was 22 of 46 from the floor for 48 percent and seven of 12 from the line for 58 percent.
Piqua was 13 of 38 from the floor for 34 percent and six of 12 from the line for 50 percent.
Vandalia won the battle of the boards 31-17 and both teams had 11 turnovers.
Piqua, 2-2 overall and 0-1 in GWOC American play, will return to action Saturday, hosting Tippecanoe.
Jacie Dalton 2-1-7, Abbie Schoenherr 3-3-10, Tyree Fletcher 5-1-11, Willow Knight 6-0-14,Megan Allen 3-0-6, Rachel Burton 3-0-6, Gracie Price 0-0-0, Maddie Mitchell 0-0-0, Natalie Maurer 0-2-2, Caitlin Plummer 0-0-0, Haley Freels 0-0-0. Totals: 22-7-56.
Lauren Williams 0-3-3, Kelsey Magoteaux 5-1-11, Emily Powell 2-0-4, Kelsey Bachman 2-0-4, Lily Stewart 1-0-3, Tayler Grunkemeyer 0-0-0, Elizabeth Kidwell 1-1-3, Skylar Sloan 2-1-5. Totals: 13-6-33.
3-point field goals — Vandalia: Dalton (2), Schoenherr, Knight (2). Piqua: Stewart.
Score By Quarters
Vandalia 16 28 40 56
Piqua 7 22 29 33
Records: Vandalia 2-2 (1-0), Piqua 2-2 (0-1).
Reserve score: Vandalia 43, Piqua 31.
Reach Rob Kiser at rkiser@aimmediamidwest or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.