By Josh Brown
SIDNEY — Last season, the Troy boys basketball team struggled in a pair of big losses to eventual division champion Sidney.
And though Tuesday’s effort against the Yellow Jackets was stronger than both of those games, coach Paul Bremigan said that his Trojans aren’t interested in moral victories.
“The kids are getting used to playing hard, but we just didn’t execute on the road like we needed to,” Bremigan said. “We didn’t execute on offense the way we need to, and that was disappointing.”
Troy battled all night, though, even taking the lead following a 12-2 second-quarter run. But Sidney (2-2, 2-1 Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division) forced 16 turnovers in the game and cashed in on most of them, and a listless stretch by Troy’s offense in the third led to a 13-1 Jacket run that put the game out of reach in a 65-54 Troy loss Tuesday night at Sidney.
Troy (2-1, 1-1 GWOC American North) trailed 29-23 at halftime but cut that deficit to 30-27 after a putback and a pair of free throws by Zach Reichelderfer. But a pair of missed free throws and a series of either turnovers or one-shot-and-done possessions by the Trojans, coupled with two buckets and a tough three-point play by Sidney’s Ratez Roberts, helped the Jackets go on a 13-1 run to build a 43-28 lead before a tip-in by Caillou Monroe finally got Troy going again.
By then, it was just too late.
“We weren’t in the right spots offensively, and that led to some turnovers,” Bremigan said. “We gave up 10 points on turnovers in the third quarter. We took some bad shots, had some turnovers, and that led to a lead (for Sidney). We battled back a bit, but we’ve got to know where our opportunities are and take advantage of them.
“Even if you only turn the ball over five times, if leads to 10 points, that’s just too many.”
But even through the struggles, the Trojans showed that same unselfish play that led them to victories over St. Marys and Greenville in their first two games.
Chris DeMeo hit two of the Trojans’ five 3-pointers and scored all of his team-high 11 points in the second half, while Reichelderfer had a solid all-around game with 10 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Brenden Kinnel added eight points and four rebounds, Adam Gates and Eli Palmer each scored seven, Jacob Martinez had five points and four assists, Cole Brogan had four points and Monroe added two points and four rebounds.
“We’re going to have a lot of guys that, in different situations, can play,” Bremigan said. “That’s just a case of trying to get the right guys in the right spots. We’re scrappy, but we’ve got to play together.”
Andre Gordon led all scorers for Sidney with 21 points and added six rebounds, six assists and four steals — but he had a rough night from the field, going 5 for 16 against Troy’s defense. He was able to get to the free throw line at will, though, going 10 for 11 on the night as the Jackets were 18 for 27 as a team from the line to Troy’s 9 for 15.
“I thought defensively, other than sending them to the line four million times, we did well,” Bremigan said. “I don’t have any other explanation for that other than we were behind. They shot free throws pretty well, and I don’t think we shot them very well. We needed to toward the end to get back in it — we were close, but if you miss a couple free throws, that’s like a turnover.”
Roberts added 16 points and seven rebounds, Devon Rogers had nine points and seven rebounds, Darren Taborn chipped in nine points off the bench, Josiah Hudgins had five points, Keith Lee had four points and Ryan Heins scored one point.
“We’ve got to take advantage of our opportunities,” Bremigan said. “Hopefully we’ll learn from this, and we’ll move on.”
Troy returns home Friday to host the current division leader, undefeated Butler (4-0, 2-0 GWOC American North), then hosts Tippecanoe on Dec. 19.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.
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