The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Mike Motz 

Lady Raiders Fall To Mitchell


December 27, 2017

Mike Motz

Sidney junior Katelyn Sylvester attempts to score during Sidney's 49-37 loss to Michell.

Looking to avenge their only loss of the young season, the Sidney girls basketball team was primed and ready to knock off the undefeated Mitchell Lady Tigers at home on a cold, snowy Thursday afternoon.

Mitchell's girls were more than up to the challenge.

The Lady Tigers (8-0) defeated Sidney (5-2) 49-37 is a game that had its close moments, but showed that Sidney still has work to do matching up with a powerful defensive team like Mitchell.

Although the contest started with Sidney and Mitchell trading leads for most of the opening quarter, by the end of the period the Lady Tigers were up 14-7, and the Lady Raiders were unable to get any closer for the rest of the game.

Defense dominated on both sides, as Mitchell's 6' 2" junior center Keyana Wilfred wreaked havoc on the Lady Raiders, blocking shots and pulling down rebounds seemingly at will. Sidney's defense hung tough, making Mitchell work hard for their points, and keeping the Lady Raiders within striking distance for most of the game.

By midway through the second quarter, the pressure Mitchell's defense was exerting on Sidney started to wear on the Lady Raiders, as they found themselves taking low percentage shots, and missing easy layups.

"(Mitchell's) defense is so tough, after a while we were missing easy bunny-shots," said Sidney head coach Tyler Shaw. "They did a great job forcing us into taking a lot of bad shots," he added.

Mitchell started the second quarter with a 4-1 run, but the defensive battle escalated, with pushing, shoving, and fouls on both sides slowing down the scoring. At one point, there was a three-minute stretch where no points were scored by either team. After the Lady Tigers extended their lead to 21-8, Sidney regrouped and struck back with a long three-pointer by senior Natalie Radcliffe, bringing the deficit back down to ten.

Mitchell immediately responded with junior Kenzey Kanno burying a three-pointer to match the Lady Raiders. Sidney hung tough and did a good job drawing fouls, scoring at the line and cutting Mitchell's lead to 24-16. At the end of the first half, Sidney had two great possessions culminating in junior Katelyn Sylvester evading a trap under the basket and scoring with perfectly executed reverse layup, narrowing the score to 27-20 in favor of the Lady Tigers.

The third quarter is where the Lady Tigers were able to pull away from Sidney, outscoring the home team 12-4 in the period. Mitchell's defense turned up the heat, with Keyana Wilfred dominating underneath the basket and keeping Sidney from converting any easy shots. The contest became even more physical, with both teams aggressively pushing and blocking. Mitchell's stifling defense held Sidney to just 4 points in the quarter, and with another three-pointer by Kenzey Kanno, the Lady Tigers started the fourth quarter with a 39-24 lead.

The Lady Raiders battled on in the fourth quarter, narrowing the deficit to ten points in the first few minutes of the period, but the Lady Tigers responded and started pulling away from Sidney. But before Mitchell could put the game away, the Lady Raiders again responded with junior Janay Brauer nailing a three pointer, and then Sidney converting foul shots to narrow the deficit yet again down to ten.

The he Lady Raiders battled hard, but could not over come the Lady Tigers lead, and the game ended with a final score of 49-37 in favor of the visitors.

After the game, Sidney head coach Tyler Shaw said, "I'm really happy with girls performance. It was a tough, physical game, but they hung in there. Mitchell's defense is just outstanding."


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