TROTWOOD — Troy had played Sidney close for a while in both of the team’s Greater Western Ohio Conference games this season before the Yellow Jackets pulled away. Their Division I sectional opener on Friday at Trotwood went the same way.
After a tied score at halftime, the Yellow Jackets came out on top 55-35 to advance to a second-round game against Beavercreek next Tuesday at Centerville. Beavercreek beat Franklin 48-33 on Friday at Trotwood.
The game was the fifth meeting between two old rival coaches from the Shelby County Athletic League since they took over Sidney and Troy. Sidney coach John Willoughby (formerly Houston’s longtime coach) and Troy coach Paul Bremigan (Russia) know each other well.
Willoughby said it was no surprise that Troy came out on defense in a box and one to try and contain Sidney junior guard Andre Gordon. The Trojans held him scoreless in the first half as the teams played to a 20-20 tie. Troy’s Zach Reichelderfer tipped in a shot at the second quarter buzzer to tie it up.
“There was a strong defensive presence tonight from both clubs,” Willoughby said. “We played okay enough in the first half. We need to get ready for whatever defense our opponent throws at us. Offensively we missed some easy shots on our possessions and we need to fix that.”
“… That shows what a team we have to have our guard Andre Gordon to be held scoreless and we still had the lead by 9 (at one point). Offensively Andre started out by passing and getting others involved and then he started hitting shots and foul shots and got his game going.”
Sidney came out in the third quarter with strong defensive pressure and had Troy flustered on offense. Sidney finished the third with an 11-2 advantage. Most of the damage was done by inside players Devan Rogers and Ratez Roberts.
Gordon quickly got started in the fourth by hitting his first 3-pointer to put Sidney up 34-22.
Troy was hampered when forward Jacob Martinez picked up his fourth foul after getting three in the first half. No one else could pick up his offensive presence.
Sidney quickly extended its lead to 39-24, and Keith Lee nailed a 3 to push the lead to 18. Lee caused Troy fits on defense and caused several turnovers.
The Yellow Jackets went on to finish the fourth with a 24-13 scoring edge.
Rogers led the Yellow Jackets (17-6) with 15 points and nine rebounds while Roberts and Gordon each scored 10. Darren Taborn added eight.
Cailou Monroe led Troy with 11 points and had three rebounds. Reichelderfer finished with 10 points (all in the first half) and nine rebounds, which is enough to get him into the top five all-time for Troy in career rebounds. He edges out Alex Carmona.
Troy will lose Reichelderfer and guard Brenden Kinnel to graduation.
“My seniors have done everything that we’ve asked them,” Bremigan said. “There were times that I’d get on ‘em, sure, but I only wanted to help make them better. They’re both great kids, and I hate to see them go.
“… We return a lot players and our younger kids (freshman and sophomores) are pressing the others for minutes on the court. And that is a good thing.”
Troy finished the season with a record of 9-14.