Trojans split series against Panthers

By: Aaron Pyle

         Friday, Jan. 29, the Girard Trojans stayed home at Ted R. Taylor Gymnasium for a conference double-header against the St. Mary’s-Colgan Panthers. The matchup marked the sixth conference game of the season as the Trojans have reached the midway point. Seven of Girard’s next nine games are against league opponents.

         Prior to Friday’s matchup on Tuesday, Jan. 26, the Lady Trojans conquered the Baxter Springs Lady Lions 60-43. The win marked the eighth straight win for Coach Herlocker and his team as seniors Brooklyn Tallie and Jaada Valley led the way with 12 points, respectively.

         Coming into Friday’s game, Girard faced a Lady Panthers team (3-2) that has lost its last two games. The last loss came Tuesday, Jan. 26 against Frontenac where Colgan fell 54-41. Last season, the Lady Trojans were able to capture the advantage in the first meeting between the two teams as Girard prevailed 53-46 over the Lady Panthers.

         In the first quarter, the two sides struggled to find a rhythm offensively as there were only four points combined in the first three minutes of play. Colgan picked up the pace quickly following the slow start as the Panthers focused their attack in the painted area. Near the end of the quarter the Lady Trojans were able to fight their way back into the game going on a 7-0 run with the help of the senior duo Valley and Tallie. Colgan drained a three-pointer at the end of the quarter to tie the ballgame up.

         Colgan continued to push the pace offensively in the second quarter by going on a 7-0 run prior to the midway point. Girard quickly responded to the run as Poland and Valley provided the effort offensively. The two sides battled back and forth throughout the later part of the second quarter, but the Lady Panthers were able to get the advantage with their attack in the paint. At halftime, Girard trailed Colgan 28-24.

         Scoring became hard to come by early in the second half as defense became the story prior to the final quarter. Colgan’s defense allowed the Lady Trojans to only four points in the third quarter while Girard held the Lady Panthers to five points. Girard trailed 33-28 before heading into the fourth.

         Colgan picked up the pace offensively in the final quarter while the Lady Trojans remained cold. Girard trimmed the lead to as little as six points early in the fourth, but the Lady Panthers were able to further the lead once again. The Lady Panthers were able to maintain a double-digit lead for the entirety of the fourth quarter as Colgan went on to win 56-44 over the Lady Trojans.

         Poland highlighted the offense of the Lady Trojans as the junior ended the contest with 12 points. Tallie closed the night with ten points while Valley finished with nine points.

The Lady Trojans (9-2, 4-1) will stay home in Girard for another conference matchup against Galena (8-3) Tuesday, Feb. 2. Earlier this season, Jan. 11, the two teams battled it out as the Lady Trojans were able to narrowly escape the Lady Bulldogs 39-30 behind 20 points combined from Valley and junior Olivia Cullen.

         For the boys, the team handled the Baxter Springs Lions 41-30 in their previous matchup on Tuesday, Jan. 26. Brahm Born led the way offensively for the Trojans as the junior finished the match with 15 points. Junior Quinn O’Rand and senior Rigby Born combined for 15 points in the victory as well.

         The victory marked the fourth straight for Coach Wescott and his team as the Trojans have outscored opponents 251-161 during the stretch. Girard looked to continue the streak Friday, Jan. 29 against the Colgan Panthers (5-6). The Trojans looked to defeat a Panthers team coming off a tough, close 50-48 loss to Frontenac Tuesday, Jan. 26. Girard also looked to repeat last season’s first meeting between the two conference foes where the Trojans prevailed 46-36.

         Both sides pushed the pace early in the matchup as the two sides traded baskets in the paint. Following the midway point, the Trojans were able to go on a 7-0 run to push the lead to double digits while the Panthers cooled off offensively. Unable to stop the relentless inside attack of Girard, the Trojans led 22-8 headed into the second.

         Colgan continued to struggle throughout the second quarter as the team’s first basket came following the midway point. From there, the Trojans continued to grow their already large lead. Girard went on to prevail 66-31 over the Panthers to capture their fifth straight victory this season.

         Brahm Born highlighted the night for Girard scoring 18 points which marks a season-high for the junior. Nine of Brahm’s points came in the third quarter as well. Rigby Born ended the game with 12 points while O’Rand closed the contest with ten points. 

         Subsequent to the victory, the Trojans (9-3, 5-1) will look to continue the five-game winning streak as the team returns to action Tuesday, Feb. 2 against Galena (8-2). Galena’s one of two losses came Dec. 11 against the Trojans where Girard prevailed 48-41. The Born Brothers, Rigby and Brahm, highlighted the contest combining for 23 of Girard’s points which included five shots from three. Girard will look to defeat a Bulldogs team that is currently on a seven-game winning streak.