Versailles downs Sidney in showdown of stars at Flyin’ to the Hoop

Two of the best players in the area squared off in the second game of the Flyin’ to the Hoop event Sunday at Trent Arena.

Versailles won 65-50 over Sidney while Tigers 6-foot-6 senior Justin Ahrens got the better of the individual matchup with Yellow Jackets 6-2 junior Andre Gordon, too.

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Ahrens, who has signed to play at Ohio State next season, scored 15 of his 26 points in the first half. He also grabbed 11 rebounds and handed out five assists.

He is the No. 8 prospect in Ohio for 2018 according to 247Sports and the top-rated player in the Miami Valley.

Gordon, a junior who is still collecting offers and deciding if he wants to play football or basketball at the next level, had 16 of his 20 points after halftime.

The two shared some banter during the game and had nothing but praise for each other after.

“(Ahrens was) just telling me to keep shooting, keep being confident. That’s how it goes,” said Gordon, who made 10-of-23 from the field.

“Playing against someone like that, you can go back and take what he does off the game and put it into your game.”

Meanwhile, Ahrens himself went cold in the second half and ended with a shooting line of 11-for-29, including just 2-for-13 from 3-point range.

He was happy to see the Tigers (10-1) get back into the win column, though, after they suffered their first loss of the season Tuesday night against Fort Loramie.

Versailles also won last year at Flyin’, but this time Ahrens was happy to share the space on the marquee with another talented college prospect in Gordon.

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The two are friends who stay in contact via text and spent time together when both were in Columbus the weekend the Buckeyes beat Penn State in football last fall.

Ahrens was on his official visit while Gordon was there unofficially as a guest of the basketball staff.

“It’s something to look forward to,” Ahrens said of the matchup. “You want to be in the spotlight out there. That’s something I’ve worked for my whole life, and it’s showing right now.”

Ahrens scored 15 points as the Tigers opened up a 39-21 lead through two quarters.

The future Buckeye wiped the egg off his face after he fell dunking for his second basket of the game and showed off an array of skills as the half wore on.

The smooth lefty connected on a couple of 3-pointers and whipped passes all over the court, sometimes to unsuspecting teammates.

Meanwhile, Gordon’s first half was cut short by a pair of early fouls.

The Sidney point guard found himself in the third quarter, however, avoiding fouls and sinking jumpers.

He tallied 10 points in the stanza, generally creating shots for himself off the dribble.

It wasn’t enough for a Yellow Jacket rally, though, and their four-game winning streak was snapped.

Sidney (7-4, 5-2) is a game behind Butler in the GWOC American North standings and has a pair of games this week. Centerville visits Tuesday night while Fairborn heads north to take on the Jackets on Friday night.

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