By Camden McFarland
The Girard Trojans’ girls and boys basketball teams finished their seasons as the Class 4A-II Sub-State runners-up after brutally close matchups against the Frontenac Raiders Saturday, March 3.
In the girls’ championship game, the Lady Trojans battled Frontenac relentlessly throughout the night but execution of plays determined the final outcome.
From the start, Girard was required to give their full effort to keep Frontenac from pulling away. After the first quarter, the Raiders led by just three points.
The Lady Trojans’ offense was solid through the second quarter, and this was benefited by an increase in physicality by Frontenac’s defense. Girard’s Sydnee Crain collected 19 points in the first half, and seven points were from free throws alone in the second quarter.
Now trailing 31-34 at the half, the pressure was on Girard to maintain composure and push past the Raiders.
The Lady Trojans held strong through the third quarter and briefly held the lead, but Frontenac fired back to recapture it with a score of 49-47.
Unfortunately, as the game’s intensity peaked in the fourth quarter Girard’s shots failed to fall, and they could only score 12. Frontenac’s perfect offensive execution earned them 23 points.
With a final score of 59-73, the Lady Trojans’ great season was ended and their overall record was moved to 14-8.
After this season, the Lady Trojans will be losing seniors Crain and Jacey Murphy. Crain has represented Girard’s core on both sides of the ball this season, and Murphy finished her senior season strong after coming back from injury.
In the boys’ championship game, Girard and Frontenac were very evenly-matched and destined to put on a show.
Defenses proved to be powerful components for both teams throughout the first half. Despite strong opposition, Girard’s offense managed to pull through with the 12-11 lead after the first quarter.
The Trojans increased their lead to three points in the second quarter after outscoring Frontenac 9-7.
As the second half arrived, Frontenac entered with a changed mindset, catching Girard off-guard.
After scoring 16 and allowing 19, the Trojans found themselves in a tie-game situation at the end of the third quarter.
As the clock winded down in the fourth quarter, Girard refused to stand down and fought Frontenac until the very end. Unfortunately, the Raiders stole the lead with less than a minute left and the Trojans struggled to finish their shots.
Girard’s Caleb Muia made a last-second effort to close the gap by scoring a deep shot, but the lead was just out of reach. Frontenac stole the victory with a final score of 46-44.
Two of Girard’s players finished with double digits in scoring: Muia with 13 points and Evan Troike with 14 points.
This final loss brought Girard’s triumphant season to an end and pushed their record to 16-6.
The Trojans’ will be losing seniors Brett Ferguson and Ethan Goff next year. Both played key roles throughout Girard’s 2017-18 season.