SIDNEY — Sidney showed again on Saturday it is making strides.
Three days after earning a running-clock victory over Troy, Sidney dominated West Carrollton 66-35 in a Miami Valley League game to earn its sixth consecutive victory and third consecutive victory by a margin of 30 or more points.
The Pirates (7-4, 6-2 MVL Valley) hadn’t lost a league game before an 11-point loss at Vandalia-Butler on Thursday night.
Sidney (7-2, 7-0) built a nine-point lead over West Carrollton by halftime on Saturday and outscored the squad 38-16 in the second half.
“These bigger teams, when we come in and make a statement like this, it’s just proving to everyone else in league, even in Ohio, that we’re ready to play and we’re no joke,” Sidney senior forward Regan Clark said.
Sidney started 1-2 after losses to Russia (8-1) and Cincinnati Purcell Marian (8-1) but is on a roll as the group has built chemistry and gained endurance.
“Our chemistry has gotten a lot better,” Clark said. “We’re all a team. The stuff you see in games is the exact same stuff we’re doing in practice. Those elaborate passes, those moves, that’s what we’re doing in practice every day.”
Clark transferred from Jackson Center to Sidney last year and was only able to play the first half of the season due to OHSAA transfer rules. She scored a season-high 16 points against the Pirates on Saturday and is averaging over seven points and seven rebounds per game.
“Normally when I miss my first shot, I can go in a slump, but when I made my first 3 right out of the bat, I knew I was feeling it, so I didn’t stop,” Clark said. “… I was playing well in the post. I was not playing around today.”
Clark, who gave a verbal commitment to Rochester, University in Michigan last month, is one of six players who have scored in double figures this season and is one of four who scored in double figures on Saturday.
Aside from Clark’s game-high 16 points, Allie Stockton scored 15, Jordan Scully scored 14 and Lexee Brewer scored 11.
“We believe we have girls any given night who can go for double digits, and when somebody’s off, somebody’s on,” Sidney coach Jamal Foster said. “Being able to share the ball and letting everybody eat is big for us, because we really believe we can spread things out and create problems for teams on the defensive end because of the versatility on the offensive end.”
Stockton made a 3-pointer from the right corner to give Sidney an 8-2 lead midway through the first quarter. The Pirates battled back to tie it 9-9, but Sidney scored the last four points of the first to take a 13-9 lead.
Sidney used a 15-10 scoring edge in the second to take a 28-19 halftime lead, then pulled away in the third quarter. Clark scored eight points and Brewer scored seven to power a 22-3 scoring edge.
The Yellow Jackets’ increased man-to-man defensive pressure in the second half made it difficult for the Pirates to even attempt shots. When West Carrollton did shoot in the second half, it was largely unable to get any offensive rebounds off missed shots.
“That’s our identity, being able to go out there and guard solidly for four quarters,” Foster said. “(West Carrollton has) girls that can make shots; some of the best girls in the league are on that roster. So we came in really prepared to slow them down, try to stop the screen and roll and box out.
“… Any time you don’t give a team two or three (shots a possession), you’re in good shape. You don’t want them to get into a rhythm. The things that Regan and Kelis (McNeal) were doing (in the post) were great, and the guards were rebounding well too; they really sealed their girls out.”
Foster said he was happy Clark was able to have a good shooting performance after struggling on Wednesday against Troy.
“We’re working to really keep her included,” Foster said. “She’s a mismatch, being able to step out and shoot the 3 and also handle things in the interior. She has great touch and rebounds well. We’re working to keep her in the offense. Really great to see her have a good game.”
Sidney is scheduled to travel to Tippecanoe (7-2, 6-1) in an MVL game on Wednesday. The Red Devils, whose lone loss was a 39-31 defeat at West Carrollton on Dec. 7, overcame a 12-8 halftime deficit and beat Troy 37-30 on Saturday.