GIRARD — A wild night of basketball in the CNC saw the Girard High School basketball teams take one of two against Columbus, with the Lady Trojans losing 71-70 in double overtime and the boys’ team winning 68-43 after catching fire in the second half.
LADY TROJANS FALL IN DOUBLE OVERTIME
A double-overtime thriller went in favor of the Titans in game one of the night, as the Titans held on to win by staying cool under pressure at the free throw line.
“I can’t say enough about the effort my team gave tonight,” GHS head coach Brad Herlocker said. “To be down by double digits late in the fourth quarter and battle back to tie it speaks volumes to the heart our girls showed. It was a just a rough one.”
The Lady Trojans trailed by 13 with just under five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, but rallied back with help from six consecutive points from Sydnee Crain.
Crain went on to hit a 3-pointer with eight seconds left before floating in the game-tying shot at the buzzer.
Both teams hit a shot in a slow-paced overtime before the Titans went up by two points with 34 seconds remaining in the second overtime by hitting a pair of free throws.
Girard tied the score on a layup by Crain in the next possession and sent Columbus to the foul line with 13 seconds remaining.
The Titans split a pair of free throws to give them a one-point advantage and played strong defense in the final possession to protect the lead.
“Sydnee came really came alive in the fourth quarter,” Herlocker said. “They did a lot to limit her at times, but I thought our other kids hit some big shots at times in the first half. We just didn’t do that in the fourth quarter until there was about three minutes left. You just can’t dig yourself in that big of a hole, but I’m proud of the heart our girls showed.”
GIRARD BOYS COAST TO BIG WIN
It was a drama-free night the rest of the way, as the Girard boys’ team took care of business in the 68-43 win.
“I thought we really played well defensively in the second half,” GHS head coach Rod Westcott said. “We locked down on defense a little more and I feel like that is something we’ve been missing this season at times. Ryder Worrell did a nice job defending Patrick Cassidy. He can light it up, and if you give him a look, he’s going to knock it down more often than not. Ethan Goff came in when Ryder needed a break and did a nice job containing Patrick as well. It was really nice to see those two get up and defend the way they did.”
The Titans hit the ground running with five consecutive points to begin the contest, but the Trojans quickly took control with an 8-2 run — highlighted by four points from Caleb Muia — to to go up by one.
Girard went on to score the final seven points of the first quarter before Evan Troike put the Trojans up 17-10 with three points to begin the second.
The Trojans pulled away in the second half, beginning the third quarter with a 20-2 run en route to building a 57-34 advantage heading into the fourth.
The run included eight points by Muia and five from Troike.
Muia finished as the leading scorer with 25 points in the win.
Troike and Goff also finished in double digits, tallying 12 and 11 points respectively.
Girard will hit the road to take on Southeast at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.