By Camden McFarland
The Girard Trojans’ varsity boys and girls basketball teams earned hard-fought wins last night against Iola to move both of their records to 4-1 before Christmas break begins.
On the girls’ side, Girard started out slow and struggled to find a rhythm offensively.
The Lady Trojans led 9-6 as time winded down in the first quarter, but Iola managed to hit a three-point buzzer beater to tie the game.
As the second quarter progressed, Iola matched each of the eight points Girard was able to put up which sent the teams into the locker room tied 17-17 at halftime.
After the half, Girard came out with a much more aggressive demeanor and scored 14 additional points in the third quarter. The Lady Trojans’ defense only allowed Iola eight points, finally establishing Girard’s lead.
Girard’s defense locked down even further in the fourth quarter and only allowed six points, while the Lady Trojans’ offense scored another 12 points.
The Lady Trojans’ second-half efforts secured their 43-31 victory.
Sydnee Crain had another impressive night, scoring 18 of the team’s points. Additional scorers included Brittley Bailey with eight points, Kalyn Flaharty with seven points, Gabbi Sands with six points, Kenzie Coester with three points and Jordanne Ferguson with one point.
Regarding the team’s fourth straight victory, Coach Brad Herlocker said, “We came out really sluggish and did not play well in the first half. We didn’t execute and got out of position defensively after not following the scouting report.
“Offensively, our shots were not falling and I think we let that affect every part of our game. In the third quarter we turned things on a bit more and played better the rest of the game.”
On the boys’ side, the Trojans came face to face with another strong competition and found themselves trailing the Mustangs 12-14 after the first quarter.
Iola was relentless throughout the second quarter too; putting up an additional 15 points while Girard could only manage to find nine more points.
After entering the locker room trailing 23-29 at halftime, the Trojans decided it was time for a change of pace in the third quarter.
Girard made up for lost ground both defensively and offensively in the third quarter by scoring 14 additional points and denying any points from Iola.
However, Iola did not back down after this. The Mustangs fought until the end, scoring 20 points, but it was not enough to surpass the Trojans.
The Trojans scored 16 points in the fourth quarter to bring the score to 53-49 and effectively maintain their lead to earn their fourth straight victory.
Four key athletes led Girard’s offense last night—Caleb Muia with 18 points, Evan Troike with 13 points, Ethan Goff with 11 points and Ryder Worrell with 11 points.
In regards to the victory, Coach Rod Wescott said, “Our guys showed a lot of resilience tonight throughout the game. They kept working hard and it paid off well for us in the second half.”
After finishing the final matchup before Christmas break with two victories, Girard’s next matchup will be at home against Parsons Tuesday, Jan. 9.