By: Aaron Pyle
Friday, Dec. 4, the Girard Trojans made their way to Parsons for a double-header matchup against the Vikings. The meeting marks the third season in a row the Trojans have faced the Vikings in the season-opener.
For the Lady Trojans, the team returns all of its starting lineup including senior Jaada Valley who was out for the entirety of the 2019-20 season. Last season in the meeting between the two teams, the Lady Trojans were able to dominate 46-12.
Turnovers halted the efforts of both sides offensively in the first quarter. The Lady Trojans were able to push the pace later in the quarter by attacking the paint and drawing fouls. A heavy majority of the Lady Trojans points came from the free-throw line.
Senior Jaada Valley and junior Faith Poland provided a major impact in the offensive game for Girard combining for 12 of the Lady Trojans 19 first-quarter points.
Girard’s lead would reach double-digits early in the second quarter and the Lady Trojans did not look back from there. The Lady’s Trojans’ defense became able to clog the passing lanes which led to steals then resulted in fastbreak opportunities. Girard led Parsons 40-22 at halftime behind a 19-point performance in the first half from Poland.
From there, the Lady Trojans kept Parsons in check for the remainder of the contest as Girard prevailed 81-32 to capture the first victory of the season. Poland finished the game with 28 points while Valley was the second-leading scorer with 13 points.
The Lady Trojans look to continue their dominance as they face the Galena Bulldogs in their next contest Friday, Dec. 11. Girard’s team will look to defeat a Lady Bulldogs team coming off a 51-44 victory over St. Paul Friday, Dec. 4.
For the boys, the team returns the majority of its lineup including Gabe Muia who missed the majority of last season with a knee injury. The team lost senior Dee Wideman (wrestling), senior Zac Davis (not playing) and sophomore Luke Niggemann (knee injury).
Last season in the meeting between the Trojans and the Vikings, Parsons became able to dominate early on a young Girard team. The Vikings prevailed over the Trojans 62-37.
Much like the girls’ game, turnovers began prevalent early on for both sides as offensive production was held to a minimum. Muia provided a solid effort for the Trojans early in the first quarter scoring five of Girard’s first seven points. Girard opened the game on a 9-1 run behind Muia and senior Rigby Born. Parsons would find their way back into the game after sinking multiple three’s before taking the lead. Transition baskets held the Trojans regain the lead.
Turnovers once again became the issue for both sides early in the second quarter as Parsons and Girard struggled to hang onto the ball. Girard pushed the lead to as much as six in the second quarter but the Vikings stayed close behind with their perimeter game. At halftime, Girard led 24-23 highlighted by the 17 points combined from Muia and R. Born.
Girard began the second quarter with a major momentum booster off an alley-oop pass from Born to Muia. Once again, the Vikings’ perimeter game kept Parsons within reach of the Trojans. The two sides made it a key effort in the third quarter as well to attack the paint aggressively. Girard would begin to go cold offensively later in the third.
Headed into the final quarter, the Vikings held their largest lead of the game, six points. The lead grew even further in the fourth as the Vikings were able to execute inside and get to the free-throw line as well. Parsons grew the lead to as much as 14 midway through the final quarter. For a majority of the quarter, Parsons passed the ball around and milked the clock as much as possible while the Trojans struggled to find a rhythm offensively.
Parsons went on to win 58-47 over the Trojans. Muia and R. Born were tied for the most points scored in the contest, 12.
The boys’ team is scheduled to play Tuesday, Dec. 8 in a non-conference contest against the Liberal Bulldogs (Mo). Girard will face a Bulldogs team fresh off an 83-49 victory over the Northeast Vikings Friday, Dec. 4. The ‘boys only’ game will be held in Girard with Varsity slated to play at 7 p.m. Homecoming festivities are to be held prior to the start of the boys’ game.