XENIA — Xenia came into the night with five consecutive losses to open the season, but have been drawing closer and closer to winning each game.
The Bucs closed the gap each time out from 20 points in its opener to a four-point defeat most recently at Piqua, making a win feel like it was coming.
After a late bucket helped send the game against Sidney on Tuesday to overtime, the switch flipped for win number one.
Xenia outscored Sidney 19-7 in the overtime period and knocked off the previously unbeaten Yellow Jackets 67-55.
“It feels good, but it’s the kids that deserve it,” head coach Mike Arlinghaus said, who also picked up his first win in charge for the Bucs. “We’ve been in games so far but just have kind of shot ourselves in the foot, whether it’s turnovers or other self-inflicted wounds. Tonight we had some again, but we were able to overcome it. I’m really excited for the guys.”
Xenia (1-5) trailed by six midway through the fourth quarter when Sidney attempted to hold the ball and run clock. Xenia upped its pressure and urgency to produce a 7-0 run to take the lead.
Down by two in the with seconds left, Damien Weaver hit a layup to tie the score, with Xenia’s defense getting a steal on Sidney’s final possession to send the game to an extra period.
Weaver, who finished with 22 points, would score the first seven of the overtime period for the Bucs as the team built a 10-point lead and cruised from there.
“Coming out of the huddle we told them this was going to happen, as well as to believe in each other and something bigger than yourself and seeing it happen made momentum really takeoff from there,” Arlinghaus said. “The kids deserve all the credit for making every big play.”
Ayden Rose produced 13 points for the Bucs, with Kellen Starks adding 11 and coming up with timely rebounds when needed late.
“It wasn’t Damien’s best game early,” Arlinghaus said. “He tries to carry us with he and Ayden having the most varsity experience. Sometimes they feel like they have to do a lot instead of letting the game come to them. [Weaver] was phenomenal in the fourth quarter and down the stretch.”
Xenia lead 13-12 after the first, but cold shooting plagued the second quarter for both sides. Sidney (3-1) ended up with a 19-17 advantage at the break, paced by Sam Reynolds with 14 points.
Both teams found better rhythms after halftime before the exciting finish. The two traded the lead 13 times throughout the game with seven instances of being tied.
Xenia next hosts Greenville on Friday.
Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.