SIDNEY — Sidney cruised to relatively easy wins in two games against Troy in Greater Western Ohio Conference play last season.
Though Sidney won a GWOC American North matchup between the two schools on Tuesday 65-54, it was far from a cruise. The Yellow Jackets came up big in the last 12 minutes of the game, though, to pull away.
After the Trojans (2-1, 1-1 GWOC North) pulled within five points early in the third, Sidney (2-2, 2-0) went on an 11-1 run over the last four minutes to take control.
Troy started the season with a close win over St. Marys and beat Greenville by 40 points last Friday. Though the Trojans matched Sidney’s speed and offensive prowess early, they struggled to hold onto the ball against Sidney’s defense in the third and committed six turnovers.
Devan Rogers scored a basket in the paint to get Sidney’s decisive run started with 4:53 left in the third. Ratez Roberts hit a shot 50 seconds later to boost the lead to nine and hit a foul shot with 3:11 left to push the lead to 38-28.
Troy coach Paul Bremigan called a timeout, but Darren Taborn made a 3-pointer with 2:41 left to put Sidney up 41-28. The Yellow Jackets led by at least 12 points the rest of the game.
Andre Gordon led Sidney with 21 points and had six rebounds and six steals. Roberts finished with 16 points and seven rebounds, and Taborn added nine points.
Rogers, who missed Sidney’s games last weekend while on a recruiting trip to Toledo, had nine points and seven rebounds.
Brayden Siler led Troy with 11 points, while Zach Reichelderfer added 10.
The Trojans stayed close early in the first quarter, but Taborn and Gordon scored baskets in the paint in the last minute to push Sidney’s lead to 19-11.
Troy took advantage of six Sidney turnovers in the second to battle back. After Sidney lost control of the ball at half court, Eli Palmer made an inside bucket with 4:30 left to tie it at 21-21.
Sidney finished the second on a 6-0 run. Taborn scored after a steal with 2:28 left, Roberts made a free throw with 1:45 left and Gordon scored a layup and made a free throw after a foul on the shot with 1:26 left.
Sidney continues GWOC American North play on Friday at Piqua. Friday’s game will be the second of a girls-boys doubleheader at Garby Gymnasium. Piqua and Sidney’s girls teams will face off at 6 p.m. and the boys will follow at 7:30.
The game is the third time Bremigan and Sidney coach John Willoughby have faced each other in GWOC play after many Shelby County Athletic League games. Bremigan was the longtime coach at Russia before leaving for Troy three years ago, and Willoughby was the longtime coach at Houston before leaving in early 2016.
Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter.