BERLIN — Sidney’s unblemished record appeared to be in jeopardy in the first half Monday afternoon in the Classic in the Country at Berlin Hiland High School.
The Lady Jackets trailed by seven after a quarter and by four at the break, but senior Sylvia Hudson exploded in the second half and came close to setting a new Classic single-game scoring record in leading Sidney to a 58-44 victory over North Royalton.
The win put the Lady Jackets at 16-0 going into a game tonight at home against 2-14 Greenville in Greater Western Ohio Conference North action. Then on Saturday, they face another difficult challenge at Vandalia, which is just one game back in the North standings and 10-5 overall.
Sidney has now won 32 consecutive regular-season games, dating back to December of last year.
Hudson finished with 29 points to lead the Lady Jackets Monday, and 20 of those came in the second half. For the game, the 5-foot-10 standout hit 14 for 18 from the field.
“We made a few adjustments at the half and we went out and played the best two quarters we have all season,” said Sidney head coach Megan Mummey. “It started with Sylvia getting a breakaway, but her shot was blocked. That was the turning point because she wanted the ball after that and knew she could take her man one-on-one in the post. And with (6-2) Celena Taborn’s presence, they did not have anyone to defend Sylvia. We took advantage of the mismatch and were able to get easy opportunities. And I’m proud of Sylvia for not letting that block get in her head. From that point on, she carried the team on her shoulders.”
A “player of the game” is named after each contest, and that recognition went to Hudson. She is now just 78 points shy of the all-time school career scoring record of 1,443, held by Tangie Wells.
Sidney was on top 38-32 after three quarters after holding North Royalton to just six points in the third period. But North Royalton was still within 48-40 with three minutes to play. That’s when Sidney’s Ashley Egan hit her only bucket of the game, a huge three-pointer to pound the final nail in the coffin.
“That was a huge three to seal the deal,” said Mummey. “Her shot put all the momentum in our favor.”
Kaitlyn Davis hit a layup and Hudson added another bucket to make it 55-42 with just 60 ticks left on the clock.
Taborn, Sidney’s junior post player, finished with a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds. She picked up two early fouls and that allowed Royalton’s 6-2 freshman Taiyier Parks to get some easy buckets inside.
Davis, meanwhile, had eight points and did an impressive job defensively on Royalton’s top scorer Gabby White, holding her to just six points.
“Kaitlyn played all but 12 seconds of the game, guarding White,” said Mummey. “She did an outstanding job on her. Her ability to stay on the floor without a break is a huge asset to this team. The moment she came out of the game, they started to pressure us.”
Aside from the game, Mummey wanted to give a big tip of the cap to Tender Hearts, a Sidney day-care, for the use of their van for the trip.
“The school vans could not transport all of us, but Katie Koester of Tender Hearts came through for us,” she said. “It was a great gesture and shows how much community support we have behind us.”
North Royalton (44) — Chuppa 1, Lebo 12, Tyma 3, White 6, Parks 22.
Sidney (58) — Davis 8, Egan 3, Kindle 2, Rowland 3, Hudson 29, Taborn 13.
Score by quarters:
NR—19 26 32 44
Sidney—12 22 38 58
Three-pointers: NR 3 (Lebo 2, Tyma); Sidney 2 (Egan, Davis).
Records: Sidney 16-0, North Royalton 10-6.