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Lady Raiders Blast Alliance and Gering, Hit 23 Win Mark

Mike Motz, Sidney Sun-Telegraph

It was the final game of the regular season for Sidney's Lady Raider Girls Basketball team Tuesday night, and the 12-and-9 Alliance Lady Bulldogs were all that stood in the way of win number 22 for the season.

It was quickly apparent that Alliance would not have what it takes to beat the speedy and disciplined Lady Raider team on Tuesday night. Sidney started with a pressure defense, trapping and locking up the Lady Bulldogs' offense, causing turnovers mostly before the Alliance team was able to get the ball past half court. After rolling over the Lady Bulldogs' defense and shutting down their offense to open a 20-to-2 first period lead, Alliance finally got something going on offense in the second quarter, going on a run while the Lady Raiders eased up. Alliance went on a 9-to-0 run in the second period, pulling to within 24-to-13 with about two and a half minutes left in the half. They would score no more in the period, and Sidney took a 29-to-13 lead into the halftime break.

Sidney buried a group of three pointers while smothering the Alliance offense in the third quarter, taking a 38-to-16 lead into the fourth quarter. The Lady Raiders then cruised through the fourth period to earn win number 22, 53-to-25. Junior Karsyn Leeling led the scoring for Sidney with 14 points while the Lady Raiders hit 11 three-pointers in the contest. The Lady Raiders ended their regular season with a good win, and next faced Gering in the first round of the Subdistrict B-8 Tournament.

On Monday night, February 20, the Gering Lady Bulldogs came into Sidney for their first round match up with the Lady Raiders, and it was apparent early that this would be a statement game for the Lady Raiders. Sidney immediately smothered the Lady Bulldogs' offense with man-to-man pressure, allowing no good looks for scoring opportunities and relegating Gering to long-distance tries that bounced off the rim harmlessly, or inside attempts that were stuffed by Sidney's aggressive defense in the paint as the Lady Raiders sprinted to an 11-to-0 lead. Sidney racked up fouls quickly, but that was of no help to a Gering team that continued to struggle to score points by either field goal or free-throw attempt. After the first quarter ended with a 21-to-6 advantage for Sidney, it looked like the Lady Raiders were playing at a much faster speed than the Lady Bulldogs and continued to score. The second quarter had Sidney burying three pointers and shutting down Gering, and the Lady Raiders opened a 29 point lead at 43-to-14 at the halftime intermission. Gering had 16 turnovers in the first half alone, while Sidney buried 7 three point hits in the first two stanzas.

Sidney continued the domination in the second half, with Head Coach Tyler Shaw substituting freely, and Sidney ran away with a 70-to-34 win, their 23rd victory of the season. Sophomore Kayla Westby led the scoring for Sidney with 14 points in the victory. Sidney's win set up a finals matchup with 19-and-5 Scottsbluff on Tuesday in Sidney.


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