TIPP CITY — After a so-so first-half performance, Sidney came out in the second half and scored 47 points to run away to a 75-49 season-opening Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division win over Tippecanoe on Friday Pat Wampler Gymnasium.
After taking a 28-20 halftime lead, the Yellow Jackets stormed out of the locker room and promptly outscored the Red Devils 13-0 in the first four minutes of the third quarter. Sidney won the quarter 23-9 as its pressing defense caused numerous problems Tippecanoe’s young backcourt.
Andre Gordon tallied eight points in the third quarter and Ratez Roberts scored four early. Dominick Durr had a steal and an uncontested layup in the 13-0 outburst.
“We came out the second half and decided to play. We were just did not play hard at all (in the first half),” Sidney coach John Willoughby said. “Second half was a different story. And Dominick Durr got us going with his hustle plays on defense. He was picking up guys at fullcourt when no one else was. He gave us solid minutes. And we did take advantage of Tipp’s inexperience at several positions. We controlled the tempo.”
Gordon finished with a game-high 30 points and had eight rebounds. It was the 12th time in his career he’s scored 30 or more points.
Ratez Roberts was a perfect 6 for 6 from the field to finish with 12 points. He also had four rebounds and five blocks unofficially to become the school’s all-time blocks leader.
Darren Taborn scored 10, hitting two 3-pointers shots. Keith Lee also hit one to finish with 3 points and Durr finished with two. Trey Werntz scored seven and Josiah Hudgins finished with five. In a mop-up role, freshman Devin Taborn scored four along with Camden Vordermark, who scored two and had one rebound.
Sidney had balanced scoring in the first quarter as Roberts and Gordon each had six points. Darren Taborn came up with five to help the Yellow Jackets take a 17-10 lead. Lee and Tippecanoe sophomore guard Nolan Mader matched 3-pointers late in the second to keep Sidney’s halftime lead at eight points.
Mader, who is 6-foot-3, had a solid game for Tippecanoe with 22 points and six rebounds on the night. He scored all nine of Tippecanoe’s points in the third quarter.
Gordon got the Yellow Jackets started in the fourth quarter, getting a steal, making a shot and getting fouled in the process. He made the foul shot and later in the quarter had two slam dunks, including one off a steal which brought the large Sidney crowd to its feet.
Gordon also made a great shot driving to the hoop against defensive pressure. Darren Taborn got in the action by drilling a 3-pointer, and Werntz got a pass from Taborn and made a layup.
Gordon found his touch inside in the game. Four times he posted up his defender, took a pass and made shots under heavy pressure.
“It gives him another option to score (by posting up inside),” Willoughby said. “He can leap well and get a shot off. You might see Darren Taborn doing this also in the future.”
Tippecanoe’s other top scorer aside from Mader was guard Ben Sauls, who had 12 points and five rebounds. Zach Frederick had seven points and four rebounds.
Sidney does not have much time to rest as they play Saturday in the Ohio Hoops Classic at Hillsboro High School against Mason, which finished 15-6 last year. It will be the first game of the year for the Comets.
“I don’t know much about them but they start a kid who is 6-7 and also have a 6-6 forward, and their point guard is back,” Willoughby said of Mason.
Tippecanoe’s next game is at home on Tuesday against neighboring Bethel.