SIDNEY — Sidney played Piqua close the first time the teams played. With the team coming off a close loss to Troy on Wednesday, coach Lauren Stefancin was hoping the Yellow Jackets could earn a victory.
Piqua senior guard Lily Stewart nearly single-handedly erased those hopes.
Stewart made a school-record nine 3-pointers and led the Indians with 29 points in a 47-19 Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division win.
It’s the second time in three games Sidney failed to get over 20 points. The Yellow Jackets (2-17, 2-11 GWOC North) lost 83-13 to Tippecanoe last Saturday.
“Piqua’s team looked like a team that’s played together for a long time,” Stefancin said. “I’ve said from the beginning of the year our girls are still trying to learn how to play with one another. Only three or four of them saw varsity minutes last year. Sometimes it’s hard for all of them to play at the same time.
“We’re still learning, and without a doubt, we have gotten better from the beginning of the year. Unfortunately with one girl having 29 points, that’s hard to recoup from.”
Hallie Truesdale led Sidney with eight points and made the game’s opening basket. The Yellow Jackets didn’t score again until Carly Dean made a pair of free throws with 2:26 left in the first quarter, while Piqua racked up 14 points in that time.
Stewart made eight of her first 10 3-point attempts. She finished 9-of-14 from three-point range, and the Indians finished 11-of-19 as a team. Piqua (6-13, 4-9) made its first seven 3-point attempts, five of which were by Stewart. She made back-to-back 3-pointers to end the first quarter and give Piqua a 20-4 lead.
Stewart leads Piqua with an average of 11.2 points per game and scored 17 points in the team’s first meeting on Dec. 15.
“We were prepared and told the girls that she likes to shoot,” Stefancin said. “Even when we had defenders up on her tight, she was still knocking them down. So unfortunately, that’s just how the game went. Sometimes there’s a shooter you can’t stop no matter how much defense you play.”
Truesdale hit a few baskets to help Sidney pull within 27-15 at halftime. Neither team scored in the first four minutes of the third quarter, then Stewart hit three-straight 3s to put the game away.
Sidney scored a late basket in the third and scored one basket in the fourth.
Piqua was 15-of-38 from the floor (39.5 percent) while Sidney was 8-of-34 from the floor (24 percent). Piqua outrebounded Sidney 25-18 and had nine turnovers to Sidney’s 15.
The Yellow Jackets will be busy next week to finish regular-season play. They will host Fort Loramie on Tuesday in their final nonconference game and then wrap-up GWOC North with two games. Sidney will play at home on Wednesday against Butler and at Greenville on Saturday.
“That will make it a little difficult with only one day of practice,” Stefancin said. “We’ll see how they recoup from today. I know today was one game they really wanted. It just unfortunately didn’t go our way.”
All-sports trophy update
Sidney and Piqua are competing for an all-sports trophy for the first time this season, and the winner will be determined by a points system.
In sports where the schools play each other twice, half a point is awarded for each game, while one point is awarded for sports where the schools play each other once.
Piqua’s win on Saturday limits Sidney’s lead to 8.5-5. The two schools’ bowling teams will play on Tuesday at Brel-Aire Lanes in Piqua, and the boys basketball teams will face off on Friday in Sidney.