BAXTER SPRINGS — It was more of the same for the Girard High School girls’ basketball team, as they remain atop the standings of Class 4A DII basketball with a 20-point win, but the GHS boys found it rough sailing on the road in Baxter Springs on Tuesday.
TROJAN GIRLS STAY UNBEATEN
Winning is starting to look easy for the Trojans, who picked up their 10th win of the season to remain undefeated by handily defeating Baxter Springs 44-24.
“I thought we did a good job with the ball reversal and had some high percentage shots,” GHS head coach Brad Herlocker said. “We did not always capitalize and make the shots, but our selection was very good. Considering the low score we had, we were very balanced scoring with four players scoring eight or more points.”
Olivia Hanson was the first in the score column, hitting a mid-range jumper to break the seal and spark a 10-3 run by the Trojans to begin the contest.
A pair of free throws by Calea Augustin put the Trojans up 14-6 at the end of the first quarter, which swelled to 21-12 by halftime.
GHS outscored the Lions 8-6 in the second quarter, with four points coming from Sydnee Crain.
The Trojans began pulling away in the second half, allowing four points by the Lions in the third quarter to pad their lead to 31-16.
A 7-2 run to begin the final eight minutes of regulation sealed the win for the Trojans, as they coasted to the 20-point win.
The run included two points apiece from Ashley Ray, Kelli Cuthbertson and Augustin, along with one point by Crain.
“Tonight’s game was a grinder,” Herlocker said. “Baxter is well coached and has a nice mix of veterans and young players which mesh well together. I thought our defense was there all night and we did a nice job overall on the boards.”
Crain was the leading scorer with 13 points and posted four rebounds, three assists and one steal.
Ray and Augustin also had good outings, each contributing nine points.
GHS BOYS FALL TO LIONS
It was a night full of frustration for the Girard boys’ team, which couldn’t seem to get the lid off the basket in the 48-43 loss.
Despite the shots not falling for the Trojans, their hustle on defense kept them in the ballgame.
Both teams were struggling put the ball in the basket early, as the first quarter ended with the Lions leading 8-7.
Evan Troike tied the game at 8-all by making a free throw to begin the second quarter, but the Lions scored seven unanswered points to go up 15-8.
Ethan Goff hit a pair of free throws, which accounted for the third and final point of the second quarter for the Trojans.
Baxter scored two more points before the end of the second quarter to increase the lead to 17-10 by halftime.
Isaiah Fisher made his mark on the game in the third quarter, as he brought the Trojans back to within 24-16 by scoring six points in the opening minutes.
Girard went into the fourth quarter down 31-20 , but narrowed the gap to 34-28 with an 8-1 run in the opening minutes of the final quarter.
The run was highlighted by three points apiece from Troike and Caleb Muia.
Despite the comeback effort, the Lions remained in the lead by making free throws to hang on for the win.
Fisher was the leading scorer with 11 points.
Goff and Muah finished close behind with eight apiece.
Girard hosts Fort Scott on Friday, with the girls’ game tipping off at 6 p.m.
--Jordan Buckamneer is a sports reporter of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at email@example.com and follow him on twitter @jbuckamneer.