Trojans, Grizzlies split series

Senior Evan Troike rises up for a jump shot against the Labette County Grizzlies where Troike would finish with 19 in their 65-39 victory, Dec. 17.

By: Aaron Pyle

Following Girard’s prior sweep of an opponent, the Galena Bulldogs Dec. 14, the Trojans traveled to Labette County, Dec. 18, as they squared off against the Grizzlies.

The Girard girls came into the matchup with an undefeated record of 3-0 while the Grizzlies held a record of 5-1.

In the first, both teams came out of the gate attacking the defensive side of the ball forcing turnovers and not allowing anything inside the paint.

Labette’s full court press would give the Trojans troubles throughout, but Girard would match the effort with their own full court press.

The Trojans were able to get to the line throughout the first but just weren’t able to execute their free throws. In a defensive battle, Labette would control the lead after one quarter 11-10.

Much like the first quarter, turnovers were prevalent throughout the second as the full court press from both teams was causing problems offensively.

Both teams would exchange baskets, but Labette’s attack inside the paint would give the Grizzlies the advantage at the half as they would lead 21-18.

In the third, the post-attack of Kalyn Flaharty and Faith Poland connected to keep the Trojans within reach of the Grizzlies. Labette’s outside, as well as inside attack, would prove to give the Trojans problems as they would push the lead to double-digits at one point.

But the Trojans would not let up as key stops and turnovers from Labette would push Girard closer as they trailed 26-32 at the end of the third.

Turnovers continued for the Grizzlies in the fourth, yet the Trojans could not execute off the Grizzlies mistakes early. The Trojans would soon gain momentum following, bringing the score within 4 with 5 minutes remaining.

Turnovers would soon derail the Trojans comeback effort as their efforts weren’t quite enough. The Grizzlies would go on to win 42-39, handing the Lady Trojans their first loss of the season (3-1).

Points came in a short supply as seniors Jordanne Ferguson and Kalyn Flaharty would lead in scoring for the Trojans finishing the game with 8 points each.

“We were turning the ball over and over again on a pretty good team… that was an advantage for us, we have to turn those into points,” said Coach Brad Herlocker, “three six-footers in their starting lineup and we aren’t very tall but boy did those girls battle.”

In the boys’ matchup, Girard (3-0) came into the game ranked #1 in 3A boys and looked to show a long, athletic Grizzlies team (1-5) why they are the best team in 3A.

It was a very slow start for the Trojans in the first as they would score only 5 points allowing the Grizzlies to score 11.

Everything would then click offensively as well as defensively for the Trojans after the first quarter as Girard would then show why they are ranked #1.

Senior leadership would rally the Trojans’ team in the second as Girard went on a 24-4 run, bringing the score to 29-15 at halftime.

In the third, senior Caleb Muia would continue to attack the basket with his bouncing ability, getting rebounds and throwing down a couple putbacks. Senior Evan Troike and junior Ryder Worrell could not miss from the three-point line as Girard would push the lead even further, 45-27 at the end of the third.

From there, the Trojans lead became too large for the Grizzlies to stage a comeback as the Trojans continue their hot streak (4-0) defeating Labette 65-39.

Seniors Evan Troike and Caleb Muia would lead the game in scoring with 19 points each. Junior Ryder Worrell finished the game with 17 points as the trio would combine for 55 of Girard’s 65 points.

“We have guys who can shoot the ball…we talked after the game and I told them ‘we have to keep getting better,’” said Coach Rod Wescott. “If we continue to get better every night, I like our chances at sub-state.”

The Trojans will experience the Christmas break as their next game will be January 4, with a home game/league matchup against the Columbus Titans.