In early 2019 when Sidney’s girls basketball team was in the midst of a winless season, Dave King told me two players who were on his 14-1 eighth grade team were good enough to be starters on the Yellow Jackets’ varsity squad.
I had come to know Kinger enough in my time in Sidney to know he isn’t one to spew malarkey. Still, even with how the Sidney struggled that season, I couldn’t quite believe the statement.
Kids that young good enough to start on varsity?
It took about 30 seconds of watching those two players on a Saturday morning in Vandalia in December of 2019 to know Kinger didn’t exaggerate.
Allie Stockton and Lexee Brewer had powered Sidney to a 5-1 start under first-year coach Jamal Foster, and they nearly led the Yellow Jackets to a win that day, but the squad lost 53-51.
It was the first of many close Miami Valley League matchups against the Aviators to come over the next four years, and the first of around 60 or so games I would cover with Stockton and Brewer leading a resurging program.
Because Sidney’s girls team is the only area basketball squad that plays on Wednesdays, I cover them more than any of the other boys or girls squads in the area.
But I could have watched a fraction of the number of games I have and still would know the pair are among the fastest guards I’ve ever seen play. They’ve been the backbone of the full-court press that has made the Yellow Jackets so good over the last four years.
The duo played their final game for the Yellow Jackets a little over two weeks ago, when the squad lost by two points in overtime to Centerville in a district semifinal (and on the same court in Vandalia where I first watched them).
Though the squad wanted to advance to a district final, it was still a fitting final game for Stockton and Brewer. To say they and the Yellow Jackets left it all on the floor is an understatement.
Sidney had scored its lowest amount of the season through three quarters against the Elks’ strong defense and trailed 31-22 heading into the fourth.
But Sidney’s full-court press forced a flurry of turnovers, which powered a 20-11 scoring edge in the quarter to send it to overtime. Stockton had three steals that night, Brewer had two, and Centerville committed 22 turnovers.
Stockton, a Findlay signee who was named the MVL’s player of the year, finishes third on the program’s career scoring list with 1,490 points. She also finishes with north of 600 career rebounds, 250 steals, 190 assists and 120 blocks.
Brewer, who recovered from a season-ending knee injury early in her junior year to play this season, is the only player in program history to have over 300 of each steals, rebounds and assists in a career and over 500 career points.
Those stats don’t entirely do justice, though, to the energy and enthusiasm they displayed on the court over the last four years. That energy was even more evident when both were on the bench late in lopsided victories as they cheered on teammates who didn’t see as much playing time.
Kinger was one of the first to see the fire the duo brought on the court and on the bench. The rest of Sidney is lucky to have been able to watch them over the last four years.
Congratulations on tremendous careers, Allie and Lexee!
Billing has been the sports editor of the Sidney Daily News since 2017. He can be reached at [email protected]