By Mike Motz
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Red Raiders Earn First Win


January 8, 2020

Mike Motz

Sidney senior Skylar Heineman battles for two points against Burns, Wyo., in the first round of the Cabela's Holiday Shootout. Sidney won in overtime for their first victory of the year.

Sidney's Red Raider boy's basketball team finally broke into the win column on Monday Dec. 30 with a first round overtime victory over the Burns Broncs at the Cabela's Holiday Shootout.

With the tournament finally starting after a two day snow delay, the Red Raiders faced the visiting Burns squad in the first round, and senior Eli Ahrens made his season debut in limited action coming off an ankle injury.

Senior Skylar Heineman set the pace for the Red Raiders, pulling Sidney out to an early 7-to-2 lead after hitting a three point shot. The first quarter was a physical and low scoring affair, with the defenses of both teams dominating and the officials letting the boys bang around and play physical. Sidney led after the first quarter 9-to-5, but the pace of the game picked up and both offenses started to click.

Sidney started to pull away and went into the half leading 26-to-18. Sidney started the fourth quarter with a 14 point lead, but the Broncs put on a pressure defense and clawed back into the game, scoring while causing Sidney turnovers and missed shots. As the fourth quarter closed, Heineman was involved in two plays that finally tied the score. First, Heineman tried to call a time out after slipping receiving an inbounds pass, but the Raiders were out of time outs, drawing a technical foul. Then on the next possession, Heineman fouled Burns senior Kaden Lakin after the ball left his hand on a three point attempt, giving Burns three foul shots.

Lakin sank all three shots, and the game was knotted at 51-to-51 and headed for overtime. But the Raiders shook off the bad ending to the fourth quarter, and Heineman led the charge by scoring 6 points in the overtime period to give the Red Raiders their first vicrtory of the season 63-to-57. Heineman powered the Sidney offense, scoring 24 points and sinking 8 of 11 free throws in the fourth quarter and overtime period.

Sidney Head Coach Austin Lewis talked about the overtime period, saying, "Going into overtime we just talked about refocusing and not being in a hurry to start the period. Just focus on getting a couple of good possessions early, which we were able to do. It was nice to win it because Burns had a lot of momentum heading into overtime."

Sidney played the Torrington Trailblazers in the championship game on Tuesday, and would have their hands full against a tall and talented team. The Raiders hung in with the Blazers, ending the first quarter only down by four, but then falling behind in the second quarter and going into the intermission down 37-to-26.

The Blazers extended their lead to 21 points in the fourth quarter, but the Sidney substitutes kept firing away and chipped into the Torrington lead, and ended the game losing by 11 points, 60-to-49. Heineman again led the scoring with 12 points in the loss.

Sidney then traveled to Holdrege on Saturday to face the 1-and-7 Dusters, and the first half was a back and forth contest with both teams playing solid defense and Sidney going into the half trailing by four, 32-to-28.

But a disastrous third quarter that had the Red Raiders only score five points while Holdrege racked up 17 points was too much to overcome, and the Raiders went down in defeat by a final score of 64-to-51.

The Raiders next host Gering this Friday at Sidney High School.


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