GERING – The one thing that you did not hear fans hollering during the Western Conference matchup between Sidney and Gering Tuesday night in Gering was “Let them play!” In a pair of very physical games, the Sidney Lady Raiders exploded in the second half for a 53-41 win while the Red Raiders overcame a slow start to win 58-47 over the Bulldogs.

As has been the case for most of the early season, the Lady Raiders faced a much taller opponent. Because of Gering’s size and zone defense, the Lady Bulldogs were able to hold Sidney to just 16 percent shooting from the floor, including 0-15 from outside the arc, and 13 first-half points. Gering took a 22-13 lead into intermission.

The second half was a different story. The Lady Raiders attacked the Gering zone inside and found their touch from the perimeter to ring up 40 points after intermission, including 16 in the paint. Trailing 37-32 with 6:52 to go in the game, Sidney went on a 20-0 run over the next 5:32 to put the game away.

Reese Riddle had half of Sidney’s points in the paint in the second half to finish with a game-high 16 points. Kayla Westby hit a trio of threes in the second half for 13 points while Payton Schrotberger added 10 points on the night.

SIDNEY - Karsyn Leeling 4, Rheagan Stanley 3, Payton Schrotberger 10, Chloe Ahrens 5, Reese Riddle 16, Kierra Schrader 2, Jordan DeNovellis 0, Ryan Dillehay 0, Kayla Westby 13, Zoey Christensen 0, Katie Ramsey 0
GERING - Makenzie Todd 16, Jacelyn Brown 0, Neveah Hrasky 0, Savannah Baird 0, Jenna Davis 1, Kelsey Brady 2, Carleigh Pszanka 10, Jaleigh Kumm 0, Nickie Todd 12

The Sidney Red Raiders’ biggest lead of the night was the final score in the game. With both teams playing an in-your-face man-to-man defense, the game went back and forth. Sidney got off to a slow start, hitting only three of 15 shots in the first quarter to trail Gering 13-9 at the first break.

The Red Raiders rallied behind seven second period points from Jacob Dowse to take a 25-20 lead into the half. But Max Greeley and Jackson Howard combined for 15 points in the third to fuel the Bulldogs to a 37-36 lead heading into the final period.

Sidney scored the first seven points of the final period and never trailed the rest of the way. The Red Raiders were 8-10 from the floor in the fourth quarter, including their only three of the game. For the night, Sidney scored 22 of their points off 19 Bulldog turnovers, led by Jaeden Dillehay’s 14 points. Jacob Dowse finished with 13 points while Isak Doty added 12 points.

SIDNEY - Cam Leeling 0, Landon Riddle 8, Jaeden Dillehay 14, Isak Doty 12, Micah Schneider 4, Luke Uhlir 0, Jacob Dowse 13, Koleman Kaiser 7
GERING - Maxwell Greeley 13, Eli Marez 0, Nate Seiler 0, Jacob VanAnne 4, Uriah Ybarra 5, Jack Maser 0, Jackson Howard 19, Saven Roberts 0, Kaden Bohnsack 6