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Raiders Sweep in Home Final Regular-Season Games

SIDNEY--Sidney's Red Raider Basketball teams hosted the Chadron Cardinal teams in their final home regular-season games of the year on Friday, February 9. It was Senior Night for Cheer and Danz, and Fine Arts and in honor of Cancer Awareness Night, the dress theme was "Pink Out". The stands were packed and energized, awaiting two great match ups with the Western Conference's best teams.

The Lady Raiders started the action for the night with the Lady Cardinals, and after Chadron jumped out to an early lead, Sidney battled back with a 7-to-0 run at the end of the first period, capped with a three-pointer by senior Chloe Ahrens with three seconds left, to tie the game at 13-to-13. Sidney shrugged off their early-game misses from beyond the arc and started to move the ball inside. After going up 17-to-13, Chadron fired back with a three-pointer only to see Sidney senior Karsyn Leeling bury her own three -point shot, giving Sidney a 20-to-16 lead. Sidney's defense played tough, swatting the ball out of bounds and disrupting the Chadron offense. Although the Lady Cardinals did a great job rebounding, Sidney was opportunistic, stealing the ball and cashing in and making Chadron work for every shot. Ahrens hit another three-point shot at the end of the second quarter to give Sidney a 25-to-20 lead at the half. Sidney started the second half with a steal and a quick two points followed by a steal by Leeling who then dished the ball over to senior Katie Ramsey who completed the play with a layup to give Sidney a 29-to-20 lead. Chadron kept battling to narrow the lead, but Sidney kept the pressure up and was able to keep Chadron at bay. After another Ramsey drive up the middle for two points upped the Sidney lead to 36-to-28, and with the clock running down, Chadron's Tegan Bach tried a three-point shot and missed, but was fouled. Bach missed all three of her free-throw shots, and Sidney went into the fourth quarter up 36-to-28.

Sidney junior Jordan DeNovellis started the fourth quarter by hitting a three-pointer, followed by two successive field goals by Chadron. The Lady Cardinals kept battling, but every time they narrowed the score, Sidney would come up with a big bucket. After narrowing the lead to five at 41-to-36, Leeling answered with a three-point shot to put Sidney up eight. After the four minute mark, Sidney started to slow the pace and burn the clock. Even when Chadron got an opportunity, Sidney's great defense kept them from narrowing the lead. Chadron had a fast break opportunity to bring the lead back down to five, but Leeling chased down the play and swatted away the layup try for Sidney. Sidney did get a scare, however, as with about 90 seconds left, the Lady Raiders missed shots on two easy opportunities in a row, allowing the Lady Cardinals to narrow the lead. With around 30 seconds left, Chadron's Tegan Bach hit a three-point shot whittling Sidney's lead to 46-to-42. Then Chadron was able to steal Ahren's inbound pass, and make one free throw shot after being fouled. Sidney hung tight and played smart, allowing themselves to get fouled and not turn the ball over. Sidney made their free throws in the clutch to keep their five point lead. However, in the final seconds, Chadron's Cali Hendrickson hit a three-pointer to narrow the lead to 48-to-46. With only a few seconds left, Chadron was forced to foul Kayla Westby, and she put away the Lady Cardinals by sinking a free-throw to move the score to 49-to-46. Chadron ran out of time, and Sidney took the win, remaining undefeated at 22-and-0. Seniors Katie Ramsey and Chloe Ahrens each had 12 points to lead the Lady Raiders.

The boys game was also a defensive focused matchup, and Sidney had to play without senor standout Landon Riddle, who was sidelined due to illness. Sidney was able to grab a lead, paced by senior Isak Doty's seven points in the first quarter, but both teams' offenses stalled in the second period. The defense-heavy action in the second frame had each team only putting up five points in the quarter, giving Sidney a 25-to-19 halftime lead. Sidney built on the lead during the third quarter, but Chadron was able to come back late and chip away, leaving Sidney with a 37-to-33 edge going into the fourth quarter. Sidney's defense was able to contain Chadron from going on any significant runs, while the offense scored enough to be able to burn the clock. Even with Chadron's Broc Berry's double-double of 12 points and 15 rebounds, Sidney was able to take away the 46-to-40 win. Isak Doty led the scoring for Sidney with 15 points. The Red Raiders move to 19-and-2, and next travel to Alliance on February 15 for their final regular season game.

During the night, there were several Sidney coaches honored for their outstanding efforts in the community. Cross Country Head Coach Donna Wiedeburg was selected as the Edna Anderson Award winner, which recognizes outstanding and meritorious service by the Cheyenne County Chamber of Commerce. Sidney Girls Basketball Head Coach Tyler Shaw was recognized for his 24 years of coaching, 18 of those years here in Sidney. He has coached girls basketball, girls golf and track and field. He accomplishments are numerous, and he has been named the Western Conference Coach of the Year for female athletics. Coach Jack Thorpe was also recognized for his 48 years of coaching volleyball, girls basketball, track and field, Special Olympics, softball, play production and speech. He has a career 93% winning percentage coaching Middle School Volleyball. For his accomplishments, he is receiving the 2023-24 Western Conference Career Longevity Award.


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