URBANA — Urbana came out with a plan to stop Sidney in a nonconference game on Friday. But it did not do much good down the stretch as the Yellow Jackets pulled away late and defeated Urbana 57-50.
“All of our opponents bring their A game when they play us,” Sidney coach John Willoughby said. “They are out to get us because of Andre Gordon. That is easier said than done, though.”
Gordon scored 32 points on the night along with four rebounds and several fantastic assists to lead Sidney (5-3, 4-2 Greater Western Ohio Conference American North). Gordon scored 17 in first half and netted 15 in second half, with 11 of those coming in fourth quarter.
“He is such a great passer. You better be ready for the ball at all times,” Willoughby said.
Urbana (3-5) was down by two points a couple of times in the fourth quarter but couldn’t pull closer.
The Hillclimbers’ Jace Underwood made two foul shots to cut Sidney’s lead to 43-41 with five minutes left in game. Dakota Hower missed a shot on Urbana’s next possession, and Ratez Roberts grabbed the rebound and dribbled the length of the floor and laid it in for a four-point Yellow Jacket lead.
Devan Rogers was fouled with 2:48 left and missed both free throws. Hower then hit a put-back to cut the lead at 45-43.
Andre Gordon quickly made a three-point play to put the Jackets ahead 48-43 with two minutes left. After an Urbana turnover, Gordon netted another two points to up the lead to 50-43 and give Sidney some breathing room.
Reid Taylor scored a basket for Urbana and 6-foot-6 post Levi Boettcher grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on the next possession to cut the deficit to 50-47. Gordon took over Sidney down the stretch, scoring another four points to get Sidney the win.
“Their size in the frontcourt caused us problems from the get-go,” Willoughby said. “We seem to run into that a lot. Being D-I, that is a problem we have to solve.”
Roberts, who gave up four inches in size to the player he guarded, gathered 12 rebounds along with seven points. Trey Werntz came off the bench and scored eight points while Darren Taborn added five.
Underwood led Urbana in scoring with 18 points, 10 of those coming in the first quarter. Boettcher had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Hillclimbers. Hower had 10 points and six rebounds.
Sidney was 4-of-24 from three-point range.
“And we actually shoot the 3 better,” Willoughby said. “We are a perimeter-oriented team and really need to shoot better. I liked our defensive pressure tonight. We had a good game on D.”
Sidney plays another Central Buckeye Conference team on Saturday night in Bellefontaine. The Yellow Jackets host the Chieftains at 7:30 p.m.
“Playing Bellefontaine tomorrow night should not affect us at all,” Willoughby said. “We gave the kids a couple of extra days off so they are well-rested. Our schedule is unique that we do not play a GWOC North conference game again until Jan. 30 against Tipp City. But we have tough games coming up with Bellefontaine, Centervillle, Trotwood-Madison and others.”
Urbana led 14-12 at the end of the first quarter but the Yellow Jackets used a 16-6 advantage in the second to take a 28-20 halftime lead.