Perfect timing; Kirtley basket gives Troy boys basketball OT win over Sidney


TROY — The timing couldn’t haven’t been any better.

The Troy basketball team is getting healthy and shots were finding their target Wednesday night at the Trojan Activity Center.

In the end, it led to a dramatic win over Sidney — putting a seven-game losing streak in the rear-view mirror — as freshman Ryder Kirtley’s basket gave Troy a 66-64 overtime win over Sidney.

The Trojans improved to 9-10 on the season, while Sidney dropped to 9-8.

“I think we started to see shots fall,” Troy coach Mark Hess said. “We knew were going to come out of the (shooting) slump at some point. And we are finally healthy, we had Charlie Walker back at full strength tonight.”

After rallying from 10 points down late in regulation, Troy called timeout with 13.2 seconds left to set up the final shot.

Jaden Owens took the inbound pass and got the ball to freshman Ryder Kirtley.

Kirtley spotted an opening to the basket and drove for a game-winning layup with four seconds to go and Sidney’s desperation shot was off the mark to give Troy a 66-64 victory.

“I was looking for one of my teammates to be honest,” Kirtley said about the final moments. “I saw an opening (in the defense) and drove to the basket. It felt great (making a big shot like that).”

Hess said it started with Owens.

“They trapped Jaden (Owens),” Hess said. “The key to it was Jaden was able to beat the trap. It says something for Ryder (Kirtley) as a freshman to keep his composure in a moment like that and make a big play.”

Troy had been playing Sidney tough the whole game.

The Trojans trailed 23-17 after the opening quarter, but led 29-28 at halftime.

Troy trailed 45-44 after three quarters and found themselves trailing 59-49 midway through the fourth quarter, before full-court pressure turned the game around.

Sidney still had a 61-53 lead with 1:18 to go,when Troy called timeout with the ball under its own basket.

Hollis Terrell, who had Troy’s final eight points in regulation, was fouled on the inbounds and hit two free throws to make it 61-55.

After two steals against the press, Terrell scored on baskets with 48.6 seconds and 15.9 seconds to go to make it 61-59.

“We were able to get a couple deflections,” Hess said. “Everybody was in the right place at the right time (in the press).”

On Sidney’s inbounds, the Jackets threw the ball out of bounds.

With 14.9 seconds to go, Owens inbounded the ball to a wide-open Terrell in the paint and he scored to to tie it at 61 with 14 seconds to go.

“It is amazing what happens when you run an inbounds play correctly,” Hess said with a laugh. “We have run that play before, but we ran it correctly this time. Shaeden (Olden) set the backscreen and he draws a lot of attention.”

Sidney’s final shot was off the mark, forcing overtime.

In the overtime, Kirtley hit a free throw and Navin Couch added a basket to make it 64-61

Sidney answered with a basket by Avante Martin and Devin Taborn hit one of two free throws with 1:13 to go to tie it at 64 and set up the dramatic finish.

Olden led Troy with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Owens had 15 points, three steals and five assists and Terrell also scored 15 points.

Kirtley netted nine points and Andrew Holley added six.

Martin led Sidney with 19 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and five steals.

Taborn scored 18 points and had five rebounds,

Jaden Swiger netted 10 points, Cedric Johnson scored nine and Camden Vordemark added eight points and three assists.

Darrius Basil grabbed five rebounds.

Troy was 25 of 50 from the floor for 50 percent, including three of 11 from 3-point range for 27 percent. The Trojans converted 13 of 17 free throws for 77 percent.

Sidney was 25 of 53 from the floor for 47 percent, including three of 14 from long range for 21 percent. The Yellow Jackets made 11 of 20 free throws for 55 percent.

Troy won the battle of the boards 29-26, but had 19 turnovers to Sidney’s 17.

Troy looks to continue the momentum Friday at Springboro, before hosting Northmont Monday.

“This was a huge win,” Kirtley said. “Hopefully, this will carry over to Friday.”

And with the postseason right around the corner, the timing could not have been any better.

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