Sidney girls rolling toward tourney

If there’s pressure on Sidney’s streaking girls basketball team to complete a perfect regular season, well, that’s by design.

The Yellow Jackets embraced this high school basketball season with two main goals: don’t lose in the regular season and earn some elusive tournament hardware. Besides, that’s the only way Sidney could top last season.

“We were pretty upset that we got knocked off in the second round,” senior standout Sylvia Hudson reflected about last season’s 22-2 team. “We decided we’re not going to go out as easy as we did the last two years. Our goal was to go 22-0 and that’s what we’re trying to do right now. We plan on going really deep in the tournament. We want a sectional championship and possibly a district championship.”

That’s no boast. Sidney pushed its record to 18-0 after withstanding an inspired effort from host Vandalia-Butler on Saturday afternoon, 50-40. The Yellow Jackets are 6-0 in the Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division and dropped Butler (10-7 overall) to 3-3.

Sidney (Division I) and Southwestern Buckeye League power Bellbrook (D-II) are the only remaining unbeaten area girls teams. Loaded with a trio of three-year starters, this is the kind of season Sidney envisioned.

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Sidney coach Megan Mummey labels the offense three-dimensional and no wonder. Bolstered by the inside play of the 5-foot-10 Hudson and 6-2 junior Celena Taborn, Sidney is hard to defend near the basket. Hudson tallied a game-high 18 points against Butler and leads the GWOC in scoring (20.5 points) and is second in shooting percentage (62.6)

Taborn added 14 points against the Aviators. She leads the GWOC in blocks per game (3.5) and is second in rebounds (9.6). She’s drawn recruiting interest from Malone University and Morehead State following a 58-44 Classic in the Country defeat of North Royalton at Berlin Hiland last weekend.

What makes that dynamic duo even better is senior guard Kaitlyn Davis. She added 10 points Saturday, her average, on long- and short-range jumpers. And they’re experienced; all are three-year starters.

“To have that extra-guard help from Davis is just incredible,” Mummey gushed. “She’s such an athlete. She can stay on the court for 32 minutes. She gives them a lift because if it was just the inside, we’d have a lot of struggles. She makes us a three-dimension team, which is great.”

Sidney has four divisional games remaining to complete the regular season. The Yellow Jackets are among the state’s top 10 D-I teams and should cruise to their second straight North title. The Jackets also should be an upcoming top sectional seed.

They’re also the featured team in a revival of Sidney sports. The boys basketball team (10-4, 2-2) is the midseason surprise of the GWOC and is ensured its best season since 2009-10. Lorenzo Taborn, Celena’s older brother, is a senior starter for the Yellow Jackets, who beat host Greenville 68-67 on freshman Andre Gordon’s last-second shot Friday night.

Sidney’s football team (6-4) posted its first winning season since 2003. Its boys (13-3-2) and girls (12-5-1) soccer teams contended for divisional titles last fall.

Pressure to succeed? Bring it on.

“We’re all trying to make sure Sidney is known now,” said Hudson, who has an offer to play basketball at Urbana University and just this week was contacted by Eastern Illinois. “We do have good athletes. It’s just in the past years we couldn’t really show it. It’s really fun to be a part of. Sidney’s a really good school and I’m glad to be part of it.”

Brittney Petrosky led Butler with 17 points.

Alter 56, Roger Bacon 18: Libby Baselak scored 15 points and the visiting Knights improved to 16-2 overall and 6-0 in the GCL Coed North Division.

WL-Salem 52, Catholic Central 16: Lily Yoder hit a couple of 3-pointers and scored 14 points in leading the visiting Tigers (15-2), who padded their OHC-leading record to 10-0.

Anna 53, Madison 46: Nicole Barhorst scored 16 points and Avery Bensman 13 as the host Rockets (16-1) rallied in the fourth quarter to dodge an upset.

Northmont 34, Fairmont 31: Erin Mangen scored 12 points and the visiting Thunderbolts evened their record to 6-6 overall and 3-3 in the GWOC Central.

Tri-Village 49, Arcanum 45: Allie Downing scored 21 points and the Patriots (16-1) withstood the Trojans’ fourth-quarter surge.

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