BRIDGEPORT — The Sidney girls and boys basketball teams both improved their winning streaks to three in a row by posting solid road wins over Bridgeport on Friday night at Bridgeport High School.
Paxton Ehler ignited for 22 points to lead the Sidney boys to a 56-43 victory, while Sarah Mahr piled up 15 points to power the Red Raiders to a 65-37 win over the Bulldogs in the girls contest.
The win pushed the Sidney girls’ season record to 11-3. The Raiders are rated No. 8 in Class B by the Omaha World-Herald this week, and played up to that rating on both ends of the court throughout Friday’s game.
“I thought our girls played solid defense for the most part. All in all, we played with a lot of intensity defensively,” Sidney coach Tyler Shaw said. “I thought we ran the floor decent tonight. We were very aggressive offensively.”
Sidney’s defensive pressure made a difference early and often as the Raiders turned steals and turnovers into quick points as they raced out to a 20-6 lead after the opening quarter. A pair of Mahr 3-pointers combined with six straight points from senior Karissa Segelke powered the offensive run.
Sidney’s advantage never dipped below the double-figure mark the rest of the way. Six more points by Mahr in the second quarter extended the Raiders’ lead to 36-16 at halftime.
Things continued to spiral in Sidney’s favor in the second half as the Raiders’ advantage ballooned to 30 after three quarters of play.
Segelke joined Mahr in the double-figure scoring column with 13 points. Jeni Heeren finished with eight. Segelke led the Raiders on the glass with five rebounds, while Abbi Porter blocked two shots.
Even with the lopsidedness of the score, Shaw credited Bridgeport’s players for battling hard throughout the game and was proud of his team’s ability to stay focused against just the second Class C-2 opponent they’ve faced this season.
“Bryan [Schluterbusch] is a very good coach and we’ve had some real battles with his teams,” Shaw said. “We were fortunate to shoot the ball well tonight. We’ve certainly had our share of games this season when our shots weren’t going in and we were lucky to win. I think the girls understand the urgency of every game day in and day out because they’ve been in so many close ones.”
Tara Harding led Bridgeport in scoring with 13 points. Dina Cantu finished with 11 points and Megan Dudden had seven. Both Harding and Cantu had one 3-pointer.
Dudden pulled down six rebounds to lead the Bulldogs on the glass. Harding, Cantu, and Jada Huck all had four rebounds each.
Sidney shot 13 of 20 at the free-throw line, while Bridgeport finished 3 of 7.
Bridgeport will host Morrill today and Sidney will travel to Scottsbluff this afternoon. It will mark the first meeting of the season between the Raiders and Bearcats.
“They always play us tough, especially up there,” Shaw said of Scottsbluff. “It’s an afternoon game, which is always a little out of your routine, and those girls will be ready for us. We’ll have to be ready to go. We have to have that same urgency from the get go.”
In Friday’s boys contest, Ehler’s hot shooting pushed Sidney to a double-figure lead early. The junior poured in the first 15 points of the game for the Raiders.
With Sidney leading 29-21 at intermission, Bridgeport got within six early in the third quarter. However, the Bulldogs never really could get into a flow as Sidney pushed its advantage back to double digits for much of the rest of the way.
Also scoring in double figures for Sidney was Casey Mabey with 13 points.
The Raiders are now 9-5 on the season.
Jaime Gonzalez led Bridgeport in scoring with 14 points. Freshman John Pappas added 10, while freshman Wyatt Pankowski had nine.
Bridgeport, which dropped to 8-5, shot 3 of 8 at the foul line. Sidney was just 1 of 3.
Sidney (11-3)...........................20 16 19 10 — 65
Bridgeport (5-8)..........................6 10 9 12 — 37
Abbi Porter 2, Sarah Mahr 15, Sarah Krueger 3, Madi Malzahn 4, Karissa Segelke 13, Katelin Cole 3, Kylee Price 2, Cody Rowley 5, Ashley Stafford 2, Morgan Linneman 6, Jeni Heeren 8.
Tara Harding 13, Jessica Kildow 4, Jada Huck 2, Dina Cantu 11, Sydney Faessler 2, Olga Aguilar 4, Megan Dudden 7, AdreAnna Ernest 2.
Casey Mabey 13, Lane Harvey 4, Paxton Ehler 22, Sam Arterburn 3, Lucas Rosenbaum 4.
Cody Franklin 4, Jason Amateis 4, Quentin Baxter 2, Jaime Gonzalez 14, Leighton Freeze 2, John Pappas 10, Wyatt Pankowski 9.