TROY — It was a game that turned out as expected. Top seeded Wayne posted a 70 point victory Saturday over No. 20 seed Piqua in the sectional tournament at Troy to the tune of 86-16.
The Lady Warriors finished the regular season undefeated in conference play and 17-4 overall while Piqua won all of three games and only one in conference play, so the outcome came as no surprise.
Even when Wayne’s bench players came in early in the second half there was no change in the Lady Warriors ability to score at-will. Sophomore Angel Brown hit three of four shots from 3-point range to score nine third quarter points. Sophomore center Kyra Willis scored 13 of her team leading 15 points in the second half and repeatedly blocked Piqua shots.
Junior guard Deja Scott came off the bench to score seven second half points. Overall the Lady Warriors saw 10 players contribute to the lopsided victory. Any coach could only hope to have the depth Wayne has. Clear the bench and the level of play hardly drops off at all. It is a factor Wayne Coach Sonya Miller is grateful of.
“It is always good to get your bench going, and my bench is pretty solid,” Miller said. “It’s not much of a drop off, but there is some. I told them the one thing I wanted them to do today is, regardless of the opponent, to play the game the right way. I think we did that.”
The Lady Indians were woefully lacking in their ability to achieve dribble penetration. Faced with pressure Piqua turned the ball over more often than not and if a player managed to get off a shot, it was merely thrown toward the basket and most of those shot were well off the mark. Miller attempted to devise a game plan to ease up her team’s attack, but it was just too easy for her players to score because they were quicker, bigger and more athletic.
“You know you want to slow it down a little bit. You are looking at the score and you don’t ever want to be disrespectful to the game,” Miller stated. “So one of the things I just kind of stressed was for our players to work on some of our offensive sets, and in the process of doing that see if we could execute in the half court and get a nice look at the basket, and we were able to do that.”
Starting center, junior Shai McGruder, scored 10 first half points and got to rest a bit in the second quarter and the entire second half when Willis came in to relieve her. While Willis is nowhere near as quick as McGruder, she more than makes up for that with power inside moves and a nice touch on her shots from the free throw line as well as the ability to reject opponents’ shots defensively. Scott stepping in at guard gave Wayne identical ball handling skills and scoring ability as starters Dominique Camp and Nyla Hampton, so Miller knows she has the best of both worlds.
“It’s nice to see you know, because they all do the same skill work throughout the year and it shows on the court,” Miller noted.
She was also happy to see Brown bomb in three of four shots from beyond the arc to contribute to the victory.
“She can shoot that three,” Miller added. “People don’t really see it, but she has a nice little stroke from the three. You have to close out on her or she will score a high percentage of those shots.”
Wayne advances to face No. 21 seed West Carrollton on Wednesday at Troy at 6 p.m.
PIQ 08 10 13 16 – 16
WAY 21 44 69 86 – 86
Piqua: Lauren Williams 1, Tyla Yeomans 4, Kelsey Magoteaux 6, Skylar Sloan 2, Lily Stewart 3. Totals: 5-5-16.
Wayne: Dominique Camp 11, Nyla Hampton 11, Kyra Willis 15, Mali Morgan-Elliott 7, Deja Scott 7, Destiny Bohanon 6, Olivia Trice 4, Shai McGruder 10, Maya Dunson 6, Angel Brown 9. Totals: 35-10-86.
3-points goals: Piqua 1 (Stewart); Wayne 6 (Brown 3, Hampton, Morgan-Elliott, Dunson).
Records: Piqua 3-20, Wayne 18-4.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind