Redskins slide past Sidney in close game


SIDNEY — One coach says he was ecstatic with the play of his team, one coach says he was underwhelmed.

One coach says his team play inspired basketball, one coach says they need to play better or they will lose on Friday.

One coach watched his team rally to take a first period and first half lead, one coach watched his team take control of the game in the third period and win 60-54.

After losing Friday in regulation to the Ottawa-Glandorf Titans and Saturday in a double-overtime thriller to the Minster Wildcats, the 9-7 Wapakoneta Redskins bounced back with a come-from-behind win against the Sidney Yellow Jackets.

“I think we should feel fortunate we came out with a win today (Tuesday),” Redskins varsity coach Matt Bradley said. “I feel as though they played harder than we did, I feel they were the aggressor, I felt like, for whatever reason, we were not locked in defensively like we needed to be — but give them credit they also hit some shots.”

The Yellow Jackets did hit their shots, especially early in the game. Trailing 12-6, Sidney went on a 13-6 run to take a 19-18 lead at the end of the first period. They made 7-of-13 from the floor, including 3-of-7 from beyond the arc. 

“I was very, very proud of our kids because that is as hard as they have fought in a long time,” Sidney varsity coach Greg Snyder said. “We did some things we haven’t been doing in a long time. We got some nice things defensively and got some big stops, and we gave ourselves an opportunity to win the ball game even though we didn’t shoot as well as we are capable.

“In particular, I am very proud of Tyree Manley, he is going through a very rough time right now,” the coach said. “His mom is really sick and we had a lot of guys play well, but he is really fighting through a time right now.”

Manley hit two 3-pointers in the opening stanza and ended the game with a team-high 18 points. His teammates showed their support by wearing headbands with his mother’s name, Gloria, on the front. She is gravely ill and is not expected to live much longer.

Meanwhile, the Redskins struggled after post Jake Buzzard and guard Alex Greve gave them the early lead in the first period. Buzzard hit for 8 of his 18 points in the first period, and Greve scored all of his 7 points in the opening stanza.

But the Redskins struggled to score after the 3:28 mark of the opening stanza, as the team hit 6-of-16 from the floor for the entire first period.

The Yellow Jackets continued to shoot well in the second period, hitting 4-of-9, while the Redskins hit 4-of-12 as the teams traded buckets.

Snyder succeeded in one aspect. He wanted to take Buzzard out of the game by throwing two defenders at stop him from scoring early as he several times from the block in the opening minutes. 

Snyder said he wanted to force Redskin post Travis Bertram to have to beat his team. Bertram responded. 

The senior post scored eight points in the second and third period and 13 in the final stanza for a game-high 29 points. He hit 8-of-10 from the field and 5-of-7 from the free throw line in the second half.

He also grabbed 11 rebounds, edging out Buzzard who finished the game with 10.

“Travis has really done a good job all year of buying in to scoring inside,” Bradley said. “Obviously, Travis is going to score differently than Jake is because Jake is going to catch the ball on the block and make a post move, while Travis is going to have to attack the rim but the outcome is the same.

“I thought Travis did a nice attacking and finishing — when those two guys combine for more than 40 points we are pretty tough to defend,” the coach said.

Trailing 33-30 at the half, Bradley hammered his team during the break on upping their defensive intensity. He watched it improve as they held Sidney to 7-of-24 from the field and 1-of-7 from beyond the arc in the second half — but he would like to see a better and more complete effort in the future.

The effort was just enough to keep the Yellow Jackets at bay as Wapakoneta tied the game at 37 at the 4:16 mark of the third period and never relinquished the lead after taking a 43-42 lead at the 1:50 mark.

The Redskins watched Sidney tie it twice with 33 seconds left in the third and at 49 at the 4:44 mark in the fourth before puling away when Bertram hit a short jumper and was fouled.

Bertram, Buzzard and Greve received some offensive help. The other players to score for the Redskins were post Brandon Miller and guard Kodi Morgan with 3 points. Posts Alex Temple and Kyle Gibson contributed with four rebounds each.

Looking to Friday’s game against the rival St. Marys Roughriders, Bradley said his team must bring a higher level of intensity.

“They are much better team than their record,” Bradley said. “They have some really good guards who can shoot and a sophomore post who can play. We are going to have to come out with a much better effort if we want a chance to win.”

The Wapakoneta Redskins junior varsity team won 66-37 with guard Sam Hinegardner leading the way with 26 points. Guard Jarrett Koch hit three 3-pointers and was perfect from the free throw line, knocking down 13 points, while guard Jake Bruns hit for 11 points.

Post Kaleb Miller joined the offensive onslaught with 7 points. Post Jon Eaton and guard Keaton Metz each scored 4 points in the win, while post Corey Crawford scored one point from the free throw line in the fourth period.

The Wapakoneta Redskins freshman team made it a clean sweep with a 44-22 win.