SCOTTSBLUFF - The Sidney Lady Raiders took a one-point lead into halftime, but couldn’t fend off Scottsbluff in the second half, falling to the Bearcats 61-45 in the championship game of the Western Conference Invitational Tournament. Scottsbluff made a trio of three-pointers while pouring in fifteen points in the final eight minutes, while holding Sidney to just four points, to blow open a tightly fought contest.

The Bearcats had four players in double figures, led by senior Mariya Avila’s 16 points. Junior Anna Kelly finished with 15 points, while sophomore Page Horne tallied 12 points. Senior Alleca Campbell’s 13 points led the Lady Raiders’ scoring. Junior Gabrielle Fortner finished with 9 points for Sidney.

The Red Raiders could not have scripted a better start to the boys third place game against Chadron. Sidney opened the game with five first quarter three-pointers and bolted to a 20-12 lead after the first eight minutes. The Raiders continued their hot shooting and brilliant play in the second stanza, knocking down another trio of three-pointers and opening up a 16-point, 41-25 halftime lead.

The Cardinals chipped away at the Sidney advantage in the second half, cutting the Red Raider lead in half, 46-38, to begin the fourth quarter. The Cardinals opened the final period with a 10-0 run and took their first lead in the game 48-46 on senior Collin Brennan’s 3-pointer from the corner.

Sidney didn’t panic and regained the lead in Isak Doty’s fourth three-pointer of the game. The teams battled to a 53-53 tie with 1:28 remaining in the game. Sidney took a timeout with 14.4 seconds left to plan their end of game strategy. The Cardinals, who had fouls to give before sending Sidney to the free throw line, used them to burn clock, forcing Sidney to take another timeout with just 2.5 seconds left. The Red Raiders inbounded the ball to Jacob Dowse in the corner, who lobbed it to Sawyer Dickman under the basket for the winning score as Sidney captured third place with the 55-53 win.

Sidney is back on the court on Friday, December 10th when they host Chase County t the Cabela’s Athletic Facility. Junior varsity games begin at 4:00 p.m. followed by the girls varsity contest at 5:30 p.m. The boys varsity game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.