By: Aaron Pyle
Following Christmas break, the Girard Trojans looked to tipoff their new year with a bang against the Columbus Titans, Jan. 4. Both squads looked to shake a bit of the rust off as their last game played was Dec. 17.
In the girls’ matchup, Girard is coming off a tough, close loss to the Labette County Grizzlies where they were defeated 39-42. Their next opponent, Columbus (4-2) looked to find an edge Friday night against the Trojans.
Sophomore Jaada Valley started off hot for the Lady Trojans, nailing two three-pointers in the opening minutes. Columbus would respond sinking a couple of their own three-pointers. Second-chance baskets, as well as the Lady Trojans inside attack, proved to be troublesome for the Titans as Girard led 16-11 after the first.
The second quarter was a slower start for both teams as neither could find the edge offensively. Columbus’ inside attack gave the Lady Trojans problems as the Titans slowly gained their way back into the game. Turnovers, as well as missed opportunities, derailed the Trojans from pushing the lead further as Columbus stayed close behind.
Near the end of the second, Girard gained momentum off transition baskets from Titan turnovers. Multiple Lady Trojans would sink a couple three’s as well giving Girard a 28-22 lead at the half.
The third quarter was owned by the Trojans as turnovers from the Titans would push Girard’s lead to double-digits.
Heading into the fourth, the Lady Trojans would slow down their offense, going into a more half-court style offense. Girard’s inside attack from senior Kalyn Flaharty would derail the Titans comeback efforts as the Lady Trojans would go on to win 46-39, improving their record to 4-1 overall with an undefeated league record of 2-0.
Sophomore Jaada Valley led the team in scoring with 14 points on the night. Junior Brittley Bailey was the second leading scorer with 7 points for the Lady Trojans.
In the boys’ matchup, #1 Girard (4-0) comes off a solid 63-39 victory over the Labette County Grizzlies. The boys’ team looked to continue their undefeated streak against the Columbus Titans (4-2).
For the first quarter, it was a slower start offensively for the Trojans. However, Girard would execute off turnovers from the Titans leading to transition points, as well as getting their inside attack with senior Carter Doherty taking a 12-7 lead at the end of the first.
In the second, the Trojans would click offensively as it seemed they could do no wrong. Unselfish play from Girard pushed their lead even further into double digits as the Trojans size/speed was too much for the Titans. Senior Caleb Muia would take over the second quarter getting his own inside as well as knocking down mid-range jumpers.
At the half, Girard held a comfortable 26-10 lead over the Titans.
Columbus would slowly try and get back into the game in the third off sloppy mistakes from the Trojans. Girard would then respond attacking the paint in which Columbus had no answer for.
In the closing minutes of the game, junior Ryder Worrell dished a behind the back pass to teammate Caleb Muia where Muia then slammed it down putting an exclamation point on their 54-39 victory over Columbus.
The #1 Girard boys maintain their undefeated streak (5-0) heading into their next matchup.
“Thought our guys battled, it was a game of runs…we’ve got to continue to get better in our half-court (offense),” said Coach Rod Wescott.
Senior Caleb Muia was the leading scorer of the game finishing with 20 points for the Trojans. The Trojans had two others in double digits as well; senior Carter Doherty had 12 points and junior Ryder Worrell finished with 13 points going 6-6 from the free throw line in the 4th.
The Trojans will stay home for their next matchup, Jan. 8, against the Riverton Rams.