By Rob Kiser
SIDNEY — The Piqua boys basketball team knew they were in for a stiff challenge against Sidney and coach John Willoughby Friday night in GWOC American action.
Sidney proved to be everything Piqua expected — and combined with the Indians struggling from the start in fromt of sold-out Sidney gymnasium, the Jackets cruised to a 68-31 victory in the first of two meetings between the GWOC North members.
Sidney started fast and never looked back.
The Jackets Ratez Roberts scored Sidney’s first seven points, to erase Piqua’s only lead of 3-2 on a Gage Smith 3-pointer.
Andre Gordon scored and Roberts had a putback to make it 11-3.
After another basket by Gordon, Josiah Hudgins and Gordon closed the quarter with threes to give Sidney a 19-3 lead — with all 19 points scored by sophomores.
Baskets Hudgins and Gordon made it 23-3 with six minutes to go in the opening half, before Ben Schmiesing got Piqua back on the board.
Sidney’s defense frustrated Piqua throughout the half as the Indians went to the locker room trailing 35-14.
Smith added another three and a basket for the Indians, while Schmiesing and Caleb Patton had field goals to account for the Piqua scoring.
Sidney increased the margin to 54-22 after three quarters and both teams emptied their benches in the fourth quarter as Sidney improved to 5-1 overall and 4-0 in GWOC American play as Piqua’s new red uniforms couldn’t slow them down.
Piqua dropped to 1-3 overall and 1-2 in GWOC American North play.
Smith led Piqua with eight points.
JJ Rohrbach scored six off the bench and Schmiesing grabbed six rebounds.
Gordon led Sidney with 18 points and Roberts added 15.
Piqua 14 of 40 from the floor for 35 percent and missed its only free throw attempt — in the final two minutes of the game.
Sidney was 30 of 56 from the floor for 54 percent and three of eight from the line for 38 percent.
The Jackets won the battle of the boards 31-21 and had 11 turnovers to Piqua’s 17.
Piqua will look to turn things around Tuesday when Greenville visits for a GWOC American game.
Hunter Hawk 1-0-2, Hayden Schrubb 0-0-0, Gage Smith 3-0-8, Ben Schmiesing 2-0-4, Nate Monnin 0-0-0, Caleb Patton 2-0-4, Devon Brown 1-0-2, Xion Harrison 0-0-0, JJ Rohrbach 3-0-6, Nick Rigola 0-0-0, Cory Cotrell 0-0-0, Kam Ashton 1-0-3, Logan Copsey 0-0-0, Holden Yount 0-0-0, Devin Fosler 1-0-2. Totals: 14-0-31.
Isaiah Bowser 1-0-2, Ratez Roberts 7-1-15, Andre Gordon 8-0-18, Devan Rogers 4-0-9, Josiah Hudgins 2-0-5, Allec Gordon 4-0-8, Jace Conrad 1-0-3, Kelton Stockton 2-1-5, Ryan Heins 0-0-0, Devontae Washingon 1-0-2, Chris Lee 0-1-1, Keith Lee 0-0-0. Totals: 30-3-68.
3-point field goals — Piqua: Smith (2), Ashton. Sidney: Andre Gordon (2), Rodgers, Hudgins, Conrad.
Score By Quarters
Piqua 3 14 22 31
Sidney 19 35 54 68
Records: Piqua 1-3 (1-2), Sidney 5-1 (4-0).
Reserve score: Piqua 53, Sidney 51.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at 937-451-3334.