PICKERINGTON — Sidney showed in the first 12 minutes of a game in Classic in the City on Sunday at Pickerington Central High School it can play with strong opponents. But it showed in the last 20 minutes it has to find a way to be consistent.
Fort Erie International, a Canadian prep school, ran away in the second half to beat the Yellow Jackets 60-34. It was the last nonconference game of the season for Sidney (12-4); the squad lost all four of its nonconference games.
Sidney led 22-18 with about three minutes left in the second quarter, but Fort Erie finished the quarter on an 8-0 run to take a four-point halftime lead. Fort Erie then scored the first six points of the third, pushed its lead over 20 by the end of the quarter and cruised to the win.
Over the last 20 minutes of the game, Sidney was outscored 42-12. The Yellow Jacket committed 22 turnovers, 13 of which came in the second half.
“We’ve got to take care of the ball,” Sidney coach Jamal Foster said. “Turnovers is something that has plagued us all season. We didn’t do a great job of it in the second half. They made layups. We made their job easy by giving them the ball.
“If we’re going to make any sort of noise in the tournament or win our league, we’ve got to take care of the ball and value possessions. The second half, we didn’t do that. The first half, we did. It was a tale of two halves.”
It was the second game in 24 hours for Sidney, which beat Stebbins 54-17 in a Miami Valley League game on Saturday afternoon. The Yellow Jackets had to battle with the Indians early; they led 11-7 at the end of the first quarter before pulling away late in the second.
“Legs matter, but execution matters more,” Foster said. “We have to execute better. We finish shots, we put teams away early, and then maybe you don’t have to put too much on your legs. But end of the day, I don’t think fatigue played too much into it today. It became a matter that we couldn’t buy a bucket, and we couldn’t take care of the ball.
“That was a great team we just played. I don’t think it’s that we couldn’t play with them; it’s just that we didn’t play for four quarters. We’ve got to get better at keeping the ball in our hands.”
Sidney shot 13 for 45 (28.9 percent) from the floor and was outrebounded 34-20.
Allie Stockton led Sidney with 18 points while Larkyn Vordemark scored 12; each brought down six rebounds. The two players were a combined 11-of-23 (47.8 percent) from the floor. Lexee Brewer scored four points and was 2 for 2 from the floor; the rest of the team was a combined 0 for 20.
Sidney has a big league game looming on Wednesday when it is scheduled to travel to Vandalia-Butler for an MVL game; the Aviators (14-2, 11-1) are in second place in overall MVL standings.
The Yellow Jackets beat Butler 46-30 on Dec. 7 in Sidney.
“We’ve got to play better on Wednesday,” Foster said.
Fort Erie International improved to 21-3 with the victory. The team shot 24 for 54 (44.4 percent) from the floor. Kamora Morgan, one of several collegiate prospects in the first-year program, led the team with 14 points.
Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.