SIDNEY — Sidney and Troy entered a Miami Valley League crossover matchup on Friday coming off their first losses of the season in which both squads were severely limited by illness.
Both were back to full health on Friday — or at least close to it.
But Troy still felt some heat — though instead of it coming from running a temperature, it came from Sidney’s defense.
The Yellow Jackets’ defensive pressure and rebounding helped the team earn a 64-55 victory in front of a near-sellout crowd.
“We’re pretty good defensively,” Sidney coach John Willoughby said. “When we can get a couple of stops back-to-back, we’re good at scoring at the other end and making a run out of it.”
Troy made a couple runs in the second half to stay in it.
The Trojans opened the third quarter with 7-4 run to pull within 37-32, but the Yellow Jackets responded with an 8-2 run, which junior guard Myles Vordemark capped off with a layup after a steal.
Sidney (4-1, 4-1 MVL Valley Division) led 47-38 heading into the fourth. The Trojans scored five straight points in the middle of the fourth to pull within six points, but senior wing Landon Davis drew a foul in the post and hit two free throws with 2:33 left to push the lead to 57-49.
Sidney scored the next four points to clinch it, including a steal and layup by freshman guard Julius Spradling with 1:33 left.
“Julius makes all the difference in the world for us defensively,” Sidney coach John Willoughby said. “He gets after the ball, gets his hands on a lot of balls. …He’s quick enough and fast enough to get out ahead of everybody with the dribble and just run it.
“When we’re willing to play defense — and we’ve been doing a pretty good job defensively all year — we can make those runs. We’re doing a pretty good job on the offensive end of getting the ball where it needs to go to get those runs.”
Spradling didn’t play in Sidney’s 67-55 overtime loss at Xenia on Tuesday. Senior forward Jaden Swiger and Vordemark both played through illness in the loss.
“We gave them Wednesday off practice to hopefully get them some rest,” Willoughby said. “They seemed pretty good today.”
Swiger, who is 6-foot-2, especially seemed to have recovered. He led the Yellow Jackets with 22 points, with 11 coming in both halves. He also had three rebounds and two assists.
He did it going against tall and physical Troy defenders, like 6-foot-6 senior center Zach King. He also did it while playing in foul trouble.
“We kept our heads really well, especially with Troy being a real big game for the boys, because they know each other well,” Willoughby said. “When they made those runs on us a couple at a time, I think we settled down a little bit.
“I thought the boys did a great job tonight of playing within themselves and doing what was necessary.”
Spradling finished with 15 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals. Junior forward Sam Reynolds scored 13 points and had 13 rebounds. Vordemark scored 10 points and had three rebounds and three assists.
The Trojans (3-2, 3-2 MVL Miami) canceled a scheduled matchup with Fairborn last Friday and played with seven players in a 46-41 loss to Vandalia-Butler on Tuesday.
Everyone was back for Troy on Friday, including junior guard Nick Prince, who is the team’s leading scorer.
“They’re really good,” Willoughby said. “I thought for the most part, we did good defensively. …We gave up four 3’s in the first (half) and only one in the second half. That was good. Myles did a good job against (Troy junior guard Noah) Davis and made him shoot some tough shots, and Sam did a good job against (Troy junior guard Isaac) Phillips.”
Konyae Foster led the Trojans with 18 points while Prince and Davis each scored nine and Phillips scored seven.
The teams traded points in the first quarter. Sidney led 13-12 heading into the second, and Troy scored the opening basket of the quarter to take a one-point lead.
The Yellow Jackets scored the next 10 points to take control and led 33-25 at halftime.
Sidney shot 25 for 47 (53.2 percent) from the floor and finished with 27 rebounds.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.