SIDNEY — Sidney’s girls basketball team was hoping to surpass 10 wins this season as its rebuilding effort continues. Second-year coach Lauren Stefancin said that’s still the goal — but it will take players stepping up in different roles after an injury last week.
Sidney senior guard Alina Kindle, who led the team with a combined 31 points in the first two games of the season, blew out a knee last Wednesday in the first half of a loss to Tippecanoe. She averaged 11.2 points per game last year.
With that injury, Sidney became one of the youngest teams in the 20-team Greater Western Ohio Conference. The Yellow Jackets start two players with some varsity experience, but six of the team’s 11 players are underclassmen.
Sidney’s struggles since Kindle’s injury continued on Wednesday. Troy built a 25-point lead by halftime and cruised to a 56-22 win in a GWOC American North Division game.
“(Kindle) was our top ball handler and our top scorer, so we have to put players in different roles,” Stefancin said. “I think once we get that figured out, things will go more smoothly.
“… Our expectations are still the same. We still have solid people waiting to play and waiting to get their shot. The expectations are still that we want to go into every game thinking we have a shot.”
Senior post Emma Wiford and senior guard Allie Herrick are the only seniors on the team. Wiford started last season, while Herrick played in one game. The only other player with varsity experience is junior post Hallie Truesdale, who started 19 games.
And though Wiford and Truesdale were starters last year, they averaged a combined 4.2 points per game.
The rest of the squad is largely made of newcomers. Freshman guard Peyton Wiley led Sidney (0-5) on Wednesday with eight points while freshman post Cassidy Truesdale scored six.
“They worked really hard and have done everything I have asked of them,” Stefancin said of Wiley and Cassidy Truesdale. “I have a lot of freshmen looking to come up, and it’s going to take some time to figure out who’s supposed to play with who.”
Troy took control by the end of the first quarter. Macie Taylor made two 3-pointers to put the Trojans up 6-2, then Tia Bass and Lauren McGraw made consecutive baskets in the paint to increase the lead to 10-2 with 4:47 left. Troy led 19-4 at the end of the quarter.
Stefancin was pleased with the team’s improvement throughout Wednesday’s game and said it was a better showing than a 75-29 loss to Fairborn last Saturday, which was the team’s first game without Kindle.
The Yellow Jackets took just 29 shots in last Saturday’s game (19 of their points came from the free-throw line), and they took 43 on Wednesday.
“Our goal was 45, and that was big improvement,” Stefancin said. “I told the younger kids to shoot their shot, and if it doesn’t go in, don’t worry about it. You’re a freshman, and you’ll start to learn. I think they’re adapting to the varsity level better than they did at the beginning, and I think they’re starting to feel more comfortable.”
Taylor, a freshman, led Troy (3-1) with 18 points while Makenna Taylor added nine.
Sidney will try for its first win of the season next Monday at Indian Lake, which dropped to 3-1 with a one-point loss to Springfield Shawnee on Wednesday.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.