SIDNEY — It was a dunk show by Andre Gordon and Ratez Roberts in a nonconference game at Bellefontaine on Tuesday. But more than that, Sidney showed it is far from a two-man show.
After a slow start, Sidney used a 12-2 run in the second quarter to take control and a 10-0 run in the third quarter to run away in a 67-52 victory.
Gordon had four dunks, including one after a mid-air steal on an inbounds pass. He led Sidney with 21 points.
“It hypes my team up when me and ‘Tez can dunk,” Gordon said. “Everyone knows we’ve just got it in our hands after that.”
Roberts finished with 11 points, and eight other players scored for the team. Sidney coach John Willoughby was happy to see many players get involved, especially since he said he wasn’t able to sub as much as he wanted to due to Bellefontaine controlling the pace.
“It’s important for us that the bench comes in and produces,” Willoughby said. “In the first half, I thought Trey Werntz and Dominick Durr came in and played well for us, and in the second half I was impressed with Jace Conrad. He came in and played pretty well, got some rebounds and got to the line and made some nice passes.”
It was a good bounce-back victory for the Yellow Jackets (2-1) after a 19-point loss to Mason last Saturday in the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic in Hillsboro.
“We passed the ball and moved it better tonight, definitely,” Willoughby said. “Just the movement of the ball and the movement of personnel was better. We were cutting to the middle, finding the open spots.”
Sidney led 29-24 at halftime. The Yellow Jackets trailed through the first quarter, but they went on a 12-2 run over a four-minute period to take a 20-14 lead early in the second.
Sidney quickly put the game away in the third quarter. After Donovan Dinovo hit a 3-pointer with 5:24 left to pull Bellefontaine within 34-29, Gordon and Josiah Hudgins hit consecutive 3s to put the Yellow Jackets up 40-29, then Roberts followed soon after with a pair of free throws. Hudgins then made a basket with 1:41 left to cap off a 10-0 run.
Brett Belser hit consecutive 3s from the right corner to cut Sidney’s lead to 44-35 with 1:28 left in the third, but Roberts made a put-back with six seconds left, then Gordon stole the inbounds pass and dunked to increase the lead to 48-35 at the end of the third.
The Yellow Jackets led by at least 10 points throughout the fourth.
Bellefontaine had hot shooting early in the game and kept Sidney out of the post with a 2-3 zone defense. After Gordon opened the game with a steal and two-handed dunk, the Chieftains scored the next nine points to take a seven-point lead with 3:31 left in the first.
“They started off in a zone and wanted to slow us down because we like to push the ball,” Gordon said. “We just had to knock down shots and get it inside to our big man ‘Tez, and once he got going, we were good.”
Sidney was able to move the ball quicker on offense after that and quickly took control. Darren Taborn scored a basket with 1:21 left to bring Sidney within 9-8, then Keith Lee made a put-back at the buzzer to cut the lead to 12-10 heading into the second.
Werntz hit a 3 with 7:48 left in the second to put Sidney ahead by one. The Yellow Jackets didn’t trail the rest of the game.
After Jack Clement made a basket with 6:32 left to pull Bellefontaine within 15-14, Roberts made a basket in the paint and Durr made a 3-pointer with 5:08 left to increase the lead to six.
“I thought the positive of the game was that our zone offense worked well,” Willoughby said. “We passed the ball well, got it to the high post and low post and swung the ball from side to side.”
Clement led Bellefontaine with 20 points while Maverick Calton scored 10. It was the season opener for the Chieftains.
Sidney will travel to Troy for a Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division game on Friday.