Scrappy play moves Stebbins past Sidney

Stebbins senior guard Jalen Tolbert
Stebbins junior guard Jakob Reed
Sidney senior guard Darren Taborn

Centerville, Ohio — The #9 Stebbins Indians squared off against the #3 Sidney Yellow Jackets in the second round of the tournament. The Indians were looking for revenge as Sidney had beaten them twice before in the regular season. Jalen Tolbert dropped 28 points in Stebbins’ last game against Franklin while Sidney comes in a little tired after narrowly defeating Fairmont by one.

Sidney star Darren Taborn got a quick basket off of the tip and then Stebbins standout Jakob Reed responded with a nice layup of his own. Stebbins has won games all year because of their hustle and drive and they used that today as Nate Keller dove on the floor for a loose ball which led to a Tolbert basket. Then Ryan Hickey got a second-chance layup to fall. Kelby Cox drilled a three and then Daniel Bowman got an and-one. Then Jalen Tolbert, despite being three inches shorter than Dominick Durr, ripped the ball away from him and got the wide-open layup to put Stebbins up 18-8. Avante Martin would hit a jumper for Sidney but the Indians still led 18-10 at the end of the first quarter.

Jakob Reed got an and-one and then Jalen Tolbert got a pair of layups to put the Indians up 25-13. Stebbins’ Luke Keilbaso got a pair of baskets before Reed and Taborn would trade buckets back and forth. Then Sidney senior Trey Werntz got back-to-back baskets to bring Sidney within six. Camden Vordemark hit a three at the buzzer to make it just a 34-29 lead for Stebbins at the half.

Jalen Tolbert dove on the floor for a loose ball which led to a Nate Keller layup. Jakob Reed’s transition basket led to a Sidney timeout and put Stebbins up 40-29. Jalen Tolbert then hit an and-one and Stebbins was suddenly up 45-34. Then Tolbert got a steal and went coast to coast and got another and-one. Stebbins then led 50-34. The Indians led 53-38 going into the fourth.

Sidney started to make a run. Werntz hit a three and then Taborn got a pair of layups. Both teams traded buckets until Avante Martin got a steal and score to bring Sidney back within six. Then Nate Keller threw a full-court pass to Bradyn Pennington who converted on an and-one. After Sidney tried to make a late comeback, Jakob Reed hit the dagger layup to put Stebbins up by eight. Stebbins then dribbled out the clock and secured the program-changing upset. 71-62 was the final score in this game as Reed and Tolbert embraced at half-court.

Tolbert led Stebbins with 20 and Jakob Reed had 16 points. Ryan Hickey added on 10 points for the Indians while Darren Taborn led Sidney with 17.

Stebbins will move on to the District semi-final at Trotwood-Madison High School against Springboro who just upset Miamisburg. This game will decide who will play Moeller at Xavier University. This District semi-final game will be on Saturday at 7:30.

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