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Lady Raiders Notch Two More To Remain Unbeaten

Raiders Fall To Yuma in First Loss of Season

Sidney's Raider Basketball teams each had two more big games over the weekend, and the Lady Raiders were able to power past two tough opponents to remain unbeaten, while the Red Raiders won their first contest, but lost their second to suffer their first loss of the season.

The action started on Friday when Sidney hosted Gothenburg for "Throwback Night", attended by a large crowd of Sidney High School alumni wearing apparel from the eras from which they graduated. The Lady Raiders started the action off first against the number 9 ranked C-1 Lady Swedes, and the Sidney girls started fast, opening a 5-to-1 lead early in the first quarter. After Gothenburg responded with a run of their own, putting up nine straight points to take a 10-to-5 lead, Sidney responded in the final minutes of the first quarter to end the period with a 16-to-11 lead. Sidney kept up the momentum to start the second period, building on their lead and extending it to 24-to-13, but the Lady Swedes fired back trimming the lead to 25-to-21 at the end of the first half. Sidney kept up the pace in the third period, then turned up the defense on the Lady Swedes. With a 37-to-32 lead going into the fourth period, Sidney's shooting went cold, and Gothenburg was able to chip away at the lead until the game was tied at 37-to-37 with a little under three minutes left in the contest. Gothenburg took a one-point lead with a free throw, but Sidney senior Karsyn Leeling responded with a three-point shot that found its mark, and the Lady Raiders took the lead, holding on for the 42-to-38 win. It was an impressive performance, as the Lady Raiders overcame scoring droughts, a late lead change and 23 turnovers to secure the win. The Lady Raider defense gave Gothenburg trouble all night, keeping them under 30 percent in field goal shooting. Leeling led the offense for Sidney with 11 points.

It was also a strong defensive performance that secured the win for the Red Raider team over Gothenburg Friday night. Faced with a tall, athletic Swedes team with a tough defensive scheme, the Red Raiders responded by playing a tough inside game, putting up high percentage shots to keep pace with the visitors. Sidney opted for a deliberate offensive strategy that gave the Gothenburg team as few chances as possible to score, and were able to keep ahead of the visitors for the majority of the low-scoring first half. Sidney opened the second half with a 5-to-0 run, ensuring that the Red Raiders never trailed in the second half. Senior Isak Doty overcame an illness that afflicted him all week to sink five of six three point attempts, and kept Sidney in the lead down the stretch. Gothenburg rallied late in the fourth quarter to narrow the lead, but Doty's deep three pointer at the quarter buzzer lifted Sidney's lead back to four, at 35-to-31, to open the final quarter. The last frame was a battle, with the teams matching scores as the Swedes relentlessly marched closer to overtaking the Sidney lead. With 30 seconds left, Gothenburg was able to tie the game at 44, but with time winding down, Sidney sophomore Alek Doty drove the lane and was fouled with about six seconds left. With the game on the line, Doty responded by sinking two free throws to put the Raiders up by two, and Sidney hung on as time expired for the 46-to-44 win. Sophomore Keian Kaiser had another outstanding offensive night, leading the Raiders with 15 points in the win.

On Saturday the teams traveled to Yuma, Colo., to face off with two tough Outlaw teams. The Lady Outlaws came into the matchup ranked number three in Colorado's Class 3A, but Sidney shrugged off their impressive ranking and opened with a 20-to-8 sprint to start the game. Sidney held a 16 point lead at the half, and then stretched it to 19 points during the third quarter. Sidney backed off a bit in the fourth quarter, allowing the Lady Outlaws to rally and making the contest much closer than it should have been, but the Lady Raiders regrouped and as Yuma fouled to try to steal the lead, Sidney responded by sinking their free throws down the stretch, and came away with a nine point win, 46-to-37. Leeling again led the scoring with 10 points, but Sidney was buoyed by senior Katie Ramsey's steadiness at the charity stripe as she sank three of four free throws late in the final frame to secure the victory.

It was a different story for the Red Raider team, as the slow and methodical pace of the Gothenburg matchup was in stark contrast to the speedy and frantic pace of their contest with the Outlaws. Sidney struggled to keep up the pace and found themselves in foul trouble early in the game. Sidney had to rely on their bench players quite a bit, as many of their starters sat on the bench during the second half with foul trouble. Sidney's foul trouble gave the Outlaws 21 more free throw attempts in the contest, which was pivotal in the final outcome of the game. Yuma was able to hold on to their lead as Sidney battled back late to try to steal the win, but the Red Raiders could not get the job done on this day, and suffered their first loss of the season, 67-to-62. Junior Reid Fiscus led Sidney with 14 points in the loss.

The Raider teams travel up north for Thursday through Friday action in Gering and Scottsbluff in the Western Conference Tournament.


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