PIQUA — Sidney girls basketball team may have gone through some growing pains Friday night — but showed poise beyond their years when it mattered.
Piqua girls made things interesting in the fourth quarter, but came up short at the end.
The Indians ran off eight straight points to cut the Sidney lead to 43-41 in the final three minutes.
But freshman Kiara Hudgins drilled a 3-pointer with 1:25 remaining to make it 46-41 and the Jackets made six straight free throws down the stretch to win 52-41 in MVL action.
“That was a heck of a shot for a freshman,” Piqua coach Greg Justice said. “We were doing things in the fourth quarter to make them uncomfortable for a few possessions. The kids did a great job, but we have to get off to better starts.”
Sidney, playing without standout guard Lexee Brewer, took control after a slow start, leading 14-7, 29-20 and 41-33 at the quarter breaks.
“Lexee (Brewer) is a big loss for us out there,” Foster said. “She sets the tone for us with her defense. She can take the other teams out of what they want to do and make them rush. But, I thought the kids did a good job.”
Kelsey Kizer hit four 3-pointers in the first half and Hudgins and sophomore Allie Stockton were solid all game.
“Kiara (Hudgins) really stepped up tonight,” Foster said. “To be honest, that was what we have been expecting from her. We know that is what she is capable of. Kelsey (Kizer) hit some big shots for us. That is what she is capable of.”
When Hudgins opened the fourth quarter with a basket, Sidney led 43-33.
But Sidney turned the ball over on several straight possessions and Piqua scored eight straight points. Kenzi Anderson hit two free throws in the run and Karley Johns, Andrea Marrs and Reagan Toopes all had baskets to make it 43-41.
“If we can come out and play like that from the start and not make mistakes, then we are ahead in the fourth quarter instead of coming from behind,” Justice said.
Foster was confident his team would weather the storm.
“Those are just growing pains,” Foster said. “We have some young kids handling the ball. That’s not to make excuses. We didn’t have the poise there that we need to have. I just feel like it is something we had to play through.”
After the big shot by Hudgins, Stockton hit two straight free throws and Peyton Wiley made four straight to seal the win.
“(Peyton) Wiley steps up there and hits four straight free throws,” Foster said.
Johns kept Piqua in the game all night, scoring 22 points, while Anderson had eight points and five rebounds.
Marrs had six points and 10 rebounds and Elise Cox pulled down five rebounds.
“It is tough when you are only playing six girls,” Justice said. “But, those girls played so hard. It was another good effort.”
Hudgins led Sidney with 19 points.
Stockton scored 12 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Kizer had 12 points, Wiley scored seven points and Samantha Reynolds pulled down five rebounds.
Piqua was 16-of-47 from the floor for 34 percent and 5-of-7 from the line for 71 percent. Sidney was 18-of-50 from the floor for 36 percent and 10-of-13 from the line for 77 percent.
Piqua won the battle of the boards 29-27 and had 14 turnovers to Sidney’s 15.
Sidney (2-1) will play at Greenville on Monday while Piqua (1-3) will travel to Tippecanoe on Wednesday.