BELLEFONTAINE — Sidney got out of the blocks fast and never trailed in defeating Bellefontaine 70-58 in the boys basketball season opener Tuesday night at Bellefontaine.
Sidney takes its 1-0 record into a double weekend at home, Friday against Tipp City and Saturday against Wapaloneta.
The Jackets started fast, rolling to a 13-2 lead just past the midway point of the opening quarter, with sophomore standout Andre Gordon scoring seven of those points.
Gordon then came up with a steal and got the ball ahead to Isaiah Bowser for another bucket and a 15-2 lead, and by the end of the opening quarter, the Jackets were rolling at 20-6, and Gordon had half of those points.
The Jackets slowed in the second quarter and Bellefontaine got a little bit of momentum going, cutting the lead to nine at one point at 22-13. But the Gordons, first Andre and then Allec, hit back-to-back three-pointers to open the lead up again.
The only problem facing the Jackets was fouls. At one point, Sidney had been whistled for nine teams fouls to just one for the host Chieftains. Three of those were on Allec Gordon.
Late in the period, the Chieftains got going and two straight buckets cut the lead to 26-20. But Ratez Roberts drained a three to pump the lead back up to nine at 29-20. Sidney led by seven at the half.
Sidney came out strong again in the third quarter, going on a 10-2 run to open up a 15-point lead at one point at 41-26. But again, the Chieftains came back and it was a 10-point lead with under two minutes to play. A three by Gordon with 1:20 left in the third upped it back to 13, but Sidney led by just seven again after three at 50-43.
Gordon than rang up his sixth three-pointer of the game to open the final period and put the lead at 10 again, and the Jackets stretched the lead to 61-47 with under four minutes to play on a Bowser three. Bellefontaine cut it to 61-53 but Bowser hit an old-fashioned three-point play to push it back to double figures.
Gordon had six three-pointers and finished with 30 points to lead the Jackets, and Bowser made it a strong one-two punch with 19.
“We got off to a great start,” said Sidney coach John Willoughby. “Bowser did a great job defensively on their best player. He only had two points at halftime, and that was part of the reason we started off so well. Andre had a great game, and we had other kids who stepped up and made big shots when we needed them.
“You never want to be playing your best in your first game,” he added. “And while I thought we played well, we came away knowing there are things we can improve on.”
Russia 67, Newton 43
PLEASANT HILL — The Russia Raiders clamped down defensively on Newton’s guards and rolled to a 67-43 victory over the Indians in non-league boys basketball action Tuesday night on the road.
The win put the Raiders at 2-1 on the year heading into a key game Friday at Jackson Center.
“They have a couple of real good guards and we held them in check,” said Russia coach Spencer Cordonnier. “They only had 11 between them and that was big. And we did a great job on the boards at both ends. At halftime, we were leading 18-4 in rebounds.”
The Raiders led 19-12 after a quarter and increased the lead to 33-19 at the half. Outscoring the Indians 10 points in the third quarter opened it up.
Jack Dapore hit four threes and had 14 points and Cole Tebbe added 12 for a Raider team that had excellent balance. Five more players had six or more points.
Russia (67) — Cordonnier 7, Sherman 7, Cook 8, Monnier 6, Cohee 5, Tebbe 12, Dapore 14, Kearns 8.
Newton (43) — Honeycutt 1, Jackson 2, Millett 10, Lavy 3, Evans 9, Riffle 5, Miller-Search 7, Climer 6.
Score by quarters:
Three-pointers: Russia 9 (Dapore 4, Cook 2, Cordonnier, Sherman, Monnier); Newton 6 (Millett 2, Lavy, Evans, Riffle, Climer).
Records: Russia 2-1, Newton 1-1.
Reserve score: Russia 51, Newton 41.