Trojans battle Panthers

By: Aaron Pyle 

            Following a 61-51 victory over Baxter Springs (10-11), Feb. 21, the Girard Lady Trojans traveled back to Ted R. Taylor Gymnasium for a matchup against St. Mary’s-Colgan (10-9). In the previous meeting between the CNC foes, Jan. 31, the Trojans captured a 53-46 victory over the Panthers behind a 13-point performance from sophomore Faith Poland. 

            Colgan came out swinging in the first quarter starting the game on a 10-0 run as the Lady Trojans offense went cold to begin the game. The first basket for Girard would come at the 3:30 mark. Colgan pushed the lead to double-digits headed into the second. 

            Girard responded to Colgan’s offensive outpour forcing turnovers and attacking the paint in transition. The Lady Trojans went on an 18-6 run in the second quarter to cut the lead as Girard trailed 21-19 at halftime. 

            Defense reigned supreme in the third quarter with both sides holding their own in the painted area. Turnovers plagued both sides in the first half of the third quarter as neither team could find a rhythm offensively. Girard fought toe to toe with the Panthers going on a 6-0 run midway through to take the lead for the first time since the opening minute of the game. Sophomore Lyllian Howard helped the Lady Trojans gain momentum headed into the final quarter scoring eight of Girard’s ten third-quarter points. 

            In the fourth, the two sides went back and forth at the free-throw line but neither side was able to execute early on. Girard was able to maintain the lead early on in the fourth credited to the rebounding of the Lady Trojans which led to second-chance opportunities. Colgan soon fought their way back into the game going on a 7-1 run to take the lead back. Poland and Howard helped Girard maintain position with Colgan scoring nine of the Lady Trojans ten points in the final quarter. 

            Exchanging the lead in the final minutes of the game, the Lady Trojans would miss a key layup within the final two minutes to take the lead. Following the miss, the two sides exchanged turnovers until the Panthers were fouled with nine seconds remaining. Making both free throws, the Panthers went up two with the Lady Trojans having one last chance to win the game or tie it up. Girard missed the game-winning three as Colgan (11-9) went on to win 41-39.

            Howard led the Lady Trojans in scoring Tuesday night finishing with 18 points in which 13 came in the second half. 

            After the loss, the Lady Trojans (11-8) stay home to close the regular season against Uniontown (15-4), Feb. 27. Girard will look to stop an Eagles team that comes into the matchup 5-1 in their last six games.  

            For the boys, the team comes off a tough 57-44 loss to Baxter Springs (11-8), Feb. 21. Junior Rigby Born led the Trojans in scoring despite the loss finishing with 19 points. Following the loss, the Trojans traveled back home to face St. Mary’s Colgan (4-15) in a rematch from Jan. 31. In the first meeting, the Trojans captured a 46-36 victory over the Panthers led by a 17-point performance from Born. 

            The two sides pushed the pace early on in the matchup attacking within the paint. Turnovers haunted the Trojans early in the first quarter as the Panthers lead reached as much as six points. Sophomore Brahm Born helped the Trojans gain momentum late in the quarter scoring six of Girard’s 11 points. The Trojans took the lead before the start of the second credited to Girard’s ability to knock down shots at the line. 

            Offensive production was held to a minimum throughout the second quarter as the two teams’ defenses kept each other in check. Midway through, the two sides picked up the pace exchanging baskets within the paint. At halftime, Girard led Colgan 18-17. 

            With defense continuing the reign supreme to begin the second half, both sides struggled to find a rhythm offensively. Free throws would help Girard maintain their lead but the Panthers kept close behind attacking mismatches within the paint. Colgan would take the lead for the first time with 1:40 to play executing in the paint. But Girard quickly responded taking back the lead causing turnovers and attacking in transition. 

            The two sides exchanged baskets back and forth throughout the final quarter. Girard maintained a one to three-point lead as the Panthers weren’t able to get the lead back. Down as much as five, Colgan fought their way back into the game sinking their opportunities at the free-throw line. The Panthers had a chance to tie or win the game with .9 seconds remaining following missed free throws from the Trojans. Unable to sink the final basket, Girard went on to win 40-38 over Colgan. 

            Junior Logan Thomas led the Trojans in scoring finishing the game with 11 points. The brother tandem of Rigby Born and Brahm Born combined for 17 points in the victory over Colgan. 

            After the win, the Trojans (8-11) close out the regular season in a non-conference matchup against Uniontown (14-5), Feb. 27, who currently rides a 10-game winning streak.