|Sidney Red Raiders in charge on Pritchett Court|
By Pastor Vince Carrig
Watching Sidney forward Matt Rosenbaum slide toward the post, accept passes and bury the shot explained how the Red Raiders came to Grant and took a 49-27 win from the Plainsmen Friday night.
It did not explain how Perkins County shot so poorly, or how it turned the ball over so much.
Rosenbaum posted a game-high 22 points, moving quickly and forcefully under the basket and by defenders. He even pulled out to stick in a “three” in the second half, and batted down seven of eight free throws. His combination of fluid movement, height and mass made him a tough draw on the defensive side of the ball.
“He [Rosenbaum] is the best player we will see this year, a college-caliber player,” Plainsmen Head Coach Shawn Cole said of the 6-foot-7 forward from the NSAA class “B” school.
Red Raiders guard Bret Bayne started the game’s scoring from behind the arc, and Sidney never trailed.
Despite missing at least 10 first quarter shots, the Plainsmen trailed by a count of just 11-6. “Some nights the ball doesn’t fall. It just happens. I don’t know how to explain it,” Coach Cole said of a team that normally sends three accurate shooters onto the court.
Perkins County battled through center Kye Kurkowski’s foul trouble, Kurkowski heard two whistles in the first four minutes.
“It makes a big difference for us when Kye’s in the game; we need him on the floor. Teams have to try to stop him, and that opens everyone else up,” Coach Cole said.
Beyond the fouls, Kurkowski stood out as Sidney’s biggest challenge. The center’s sharpshooting for 13 points more than tripled the output of any teammate.
When forward Luke Castner banked a long shot off the middle of the backboard to make the score 13-6, most people figured out how the night would go.
The visiting Red Raiders penciled in a win in the third quarter after Castner swished a shot with his foot on the arc, guard Colin Harvey sent a three pointer straight through, and Rosenbaum went uncontested at the basket to run the score to 36-17 with little objection from the Plainsmen.
Perkins County next missed four shots in a row and fouled center Lance Christian to make matters worse.
Kurkowski spun out of a double team to score, and also emerged from Christian and Castner’s clutches with a double-spin move to bank a shot earlier in the game.