Girls basketball: Sidney pulls away late, beats Butler 49-35


VANDALIA — Sidney played one of its sloppiest games this season on Wednesday but was able to beat Vandalia-Butler by about the same margin it did the first time the teams played.

The Yellow Jackets solidified their lead in overall Miami Valley League standings by beating the Aviators 49-35 on Wednesday at Butler’s Student Activity Center.

Sidney (13-4, 13-0 MVL Division) has a two-game lead in overall MVL standings ahead of Butler (14-3, 11-2) with five left to play. The Aviators’ other MVL loss was a 46-30 defeat by Sidney on Dec. 7.

“We made plays when we had to,” Sidney coach Jamal Foster said. “Girls stepped up when players went down. We found out that we’re more tough than what we expected.”

Sidney senior guard Allie Stockton hit her head on the floor fighting for a rebound early in the second quarter and missed the rest of the first half. Though she returned in the second half, sophomore guard Larkyn Vordemark stepped up and made crucial baskets on penetration to help the squad earn the win.

Vordemark scored 11 of her game-high 16 points in the second half to help the Yellow Jackets pull away.

“I just had to pick it up and play for my team, most of all, play for her, because I know she would have wanted to have been out there and played like she could,” Vordemark said.

Vordemark, who is 5-foot-8, averages four rebounds, two steals and 1.5 assists per game and filled out the stat sheet in those categories on Wednesday as well.

“She’s a difference-maker,” Foster said. “She’s good in the half court. She’s good defensively. She’s really blossoming throughout this season and is really developing into a player that we need her to be. Coming down the stretch, she’s giving us double digits, she’s giving us rebounds and effort. She’s a great player now, and she’s still no where as good as she’s going to be.”

The Yellow Jackets led 14-12 at the end of the first quarter. Butler tied it midway the second, but Sidney pulled ahead 24-17 by halftime.

Butler cut the gap to 33-28 by the end of the third quarter, but Sidney solidified the victory with a 16-7 scoring edge in the fourth.

Junior guard Kimora Johnson hit two 3’s off the bench in the second half to help Sidney pull away; she finished with eight points. Stockton, who scored 10 in the first quarter, added four points in the fourth to help seal the win; she finished with 14.

“We were working well as a team,” Vordemark said. “We adjusted a lot better late once (Stockton) got hurt. We pulled through as a team.”

Sidney held Butler leading scorer Sami Bardonaro, a senior guard, to five points. She averaged nearly 15 per game entering the contest but shot 1 for 6 from the floor on Wednesday and committed six turnovers. She managed eight points in the teams’ first matchup in December after having averaged 20 points in the first five games.

Foster credited senior guard Lexee Brewer and sophomore forward Kelis McNeal for having defended Bardonaro well on Wednesday.

“They really take pride on the defensive end,” Foster said of Brewer and McNeal. “Sami is one heck of a player. She’s been first team probably since she’s been in the league. Lexee and Kelis didn’t take the assignment lightly. They did what they needed to do. It says a lot. They practice just as hard as they play.”

The Yellow Jackets are scheduled to host Xenia on Saturday and travel to Troy on Wednesday in MVL action. Victories in both will move them closer to securing at least a share of the overall league title.

“We’ve got to stay locked in and take care of business,” Foster said. “We’ve got to get back to defending at the level that we know how, clean up some of the turnovers, make some adjustments. We want the positive momentum and to be the best team we can be going into the tournament, especially with (junior guard Kiara Hudgins) coming back.”

The Yellow Jackets were coming off a 60-34 loss to Fort Erie International before Wednesday’s game; Vordemark said it was a good learning experience as the team wraps up regular-season play.

“When we play teams like that, we see how good we are, because teams in the MVL aren’t that good, so we have to push ourselves to be as good as (teams like Fort Erie),” Vordemark said. “That’s how we really test ourselves to see how good we are.”

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