Xenia season ends against Sidney


VANDALIA — Xenia received a final glimpse for this year at the program it wishes to become.

It has some work to do in getting to that point.

Monday’s Division I sectional tournament game at Butler High School against Sidney went similarly to the two regular season meetings. This time the Yellow Jackets put an end to the Bucs’ campaign with a 66-37 win.

“We’re looking to be a team like that,” head coach Jessica Threats said. “Have to try to put our pieces together and it’s going to definitely be hard to replace what we’re losing.”

Xenia rebounded from a 3-9 start to reach 11 wins and a 9-9 split against league foes. It’s a sign of growth for the program after undergoing a similar start to the season a year ago and not being able to recover.

The Bucs got a road win against a team finishing ahead of it in the final standings to kickstart the second half surge in which they won seven of nine games. It’s a feat Threats said each player should take pride in accomplishing.

“That second half of the season definitely does define the progress we’ve made,” she said. “Our seniors sold out for us. I believe that, and it shows the program has come a long way and I commend them for that.”

Kendall Sherman closed her career scoring 18 points, leaving her just short of reaching the 1,000-point milestone. Bri Randall had six points and Amarie Withers was held to two free throws in their final game as seniors.

“I told them four years ago nobody had any expectations for this program,” Threats said. “They’re a major part of turning that around for us and getting to where people are supporting and starting to believe in what we’re trying to do.”

Sidney, the No. 4 seed in D-I, scored 66, 66 and 68 against Xenia this season with the Bucs creeping closer each time out. But Monday’s 29-point loss was the closest they came to knocking off the Miami Valley League’s best team all season.

Xenia stayed close for most of the opening quarter by employing a zone defense to slow down Sidney’s attack. The score was 16-10 in Sidney’s favor until a pair of baskets in the final seconds began the defining run of the game.

A barrage of threes to start the second period by Sidney saw them score 16 unanswered over nearly four minutes of game time to start the rout by gaining a 22-point lead.

Xenia shot 40 percent from the field in the opening half, but Sidney forced 11 turnovers to help them lead 46-17 at halftime.

Sidney with the win reached 19 wins for the second straight year and have gone four straight of at least 15. Xenia recognizes that is the pedestal it desires to reach and has to continue to work to get there.

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