Trojans battle Lions

By: Aaron Pyle 

            Following a full week of tournament play, the Girard Trojans returned to action Tuesday, Jan. 28, in a CNC matchup against Baxter Springs. The pair of games took place at Ted R. Taylor Gymnasium as the two teams battled to stay alive in the league title race. 

            For the Lady Trojans, they battled the Lady Lions (3-5) who come off a tough 36-32 loss to Erie in the Lancer Classic. Girard came into the matchup fresh off a 56-47 Wilson County Classic title victory over Cherryvale, Jan. 24. 

            Opening the game, the two teams battled back and forth as the inside of the paint became the focal point for both sides’ early attack. After trailing by as much as six in the first, the Lady Lions fought their way back into the game-tying it up with a buzzer-beating three at the end of the quarter. 

            The Lady Trojans then began to pick up the pace in the second attacking from all aspects of the paint as well as the perimeter. Girard captured an early double-digit lead midway through the quarter through their relentless efforts in the full-court press causing turnovers and getting points in transition. At halftime, the Lady Trojans led 30-18. 

            From there, the Lady Trojans would maintain their double-digit lead through the remainder of the second half. Girard (7-4, 3-2) went on to claim a 47-33 victory over Baxter Springs marking the fourth straight win for the team. 

            Sophomore Faith Poland led the Lady Trojans in scoring Tuesday night finishing the game with 12 points. Sophomores Lyllian Howard and Mackenzie Droessler made key efforts in the paint as well finishing with eight points, respectively. 

            For the boys, the team comes off a third-place finish in the Wilson County Classic dominating their opponent, Bluestem, in the final matchup of the tournament 69-26. Coming into the next contest, the Trojans faced the Lions (4-5), Jan. 28, who came off a crushing 33-32 loss to Erie in the Lancer Classic Championship.

            It was a slow start to the game with four points combined in the first four minutes but teams started to pick it up as the quarter progressed. Baxter began to take advantage of mismatches inside as well as outside of the paint while the Trojans struggled to contain the Lions. Girard trailed close behind but momentum swung the Lions way after a buzzer-beating three to end the first. 

            Baxter continued to let it fly from deep as senior Andre Appleton of the Lions 12 of his 20 points going 4-4 from deep including the buzzer-beater. The Lions pushed the lead to double-digits to begin the second quarter and never looked back. Girard struggled offensively getting baskets within the paint credited to the size of the Baxter team. At halftime, the Trojans trailed 32-19. 

            From there, the Lions contained the Trojans and held their double-digit advantage for the entirety of the second half capturing a 59-42 victory over Girard (4-7, 1-4). 

            Freshman Alex Coester led the Trojans in scoring Tuesday night tallying up 14 points in the loss. Junior Rigby Born made a solid contribution as well for Girard finishing the night with eight points for the Trojans. 

            Following the matchup with Baxter, the Girard Trojan basketball teams will travel to St. Mary’s-Colgan to face the Panthers Friday, Jan. 31.