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  • Wire-to-wire

  • One leading scorer was expected, the other unexpected Tuesday night in the girls basketball showdown between Pittsburg and Girard at Ted R. Taylor Gymnasium.

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  • One leading scorer was expected, the other unexpected Tuesday night in the girls basketball showdown between Pittsburg and Girard at Ted R. Taylor Gymnasium.
    The expected was Girard senior guard Hadyn Herlocker going for a game-high 30 points and the unexpected was Pittsburg senior forward Alaura Short scoring a career-high 27 to help the Purple Dragons claim a 55-51 wire-to-wire win in hostile territory.
    “That’s a tough thing to do,” Pittsburg head coach Kim Peterson-O’Bray said of leading wire-to-wire. “It’s easy to get a lead but it’s tougher to keep the lead. I was really proud of the girls for staying in there, staying composed. Especially late in the game when it looked like Girard was making a run. They got it back within two or three but we were able to hold on for the win. I know the fans were happy, the girls were happy, we’re all happy.”
    Short scored a career high for points in the first quarter alone with 12 of the 14 Pittsburg points. Take into consideration that in 10 varsity games last season, Short scored 10 points with a high of six against Fredonia. She came through with 15 points after halftime Tuesday.
    “That was huge and I’m sure that’s her career high,” Peterson-O’Bray said. “She had a ton in the first quarter and a ton in the fourth quarter. And the thing about it was she made layups. She made the easy shots and she made free throws.”
    Her teammate Lizzy Willis played a solid all-around floor game — mixing 13 points, 19 rebounds (outrebounding Girard by herself) and four assists.
    “Lizzy, she did it all,” Peterson-O’Bray said. “She had 13 points, yes, but she was making good passes, she was helping on defense and she was getting rebounds when we needed them.”
    Girard never relented and goosed up its pressure defense, creating 21 Pittsburg turnovers. The Trojans had it at 54-51 with 13.8 seconds left.
    “We never could get it to a tie score but I felt like we had an excellent opportunity to win the game,” Girard head coach Brad Herlocker said. “That never happened. I tip my hat to Pittsburg. They played very, very well tonight. They played within themselves. The story of the game was probably the offensive glass. They just killed us on the boards. We’ve got to box out better than we’re boxing out and they took advantage of it. They were the better team tonight.”
    Girard (1-1) returns home Friday night against Baxter Springs and Pittsburg (2-0) remains idle until next Tuesday and a home game against Parsons.
    Pittsburg boys 50, Girard 36
    The Purple Dragons utilized a major height advantage to full effect Tuesday night, as senior big men Stefon Rich and FeDor Lomax combined for 32 points and 16 rebounds. Pittsburg ballhandlers committed 12 turnovers, a much more productive number than the opener last Friday against Louisburg.
    Page 2 of 2 - “It was a big, big factor,” Pittsburg head coach Kiley Roelfs said. “One of the biggest things that played a part in that was our guards, our perimeter players did a way better job of making sure that we were strong with the basketball and took a look at our offense and the guys inside. They got the basketball in the right spots and when we do that, good things are going to happen and we’re going to be a lot smoother on the offensive end.”
    Pittsburg senior Tanner Ellis helped keep Girard honest defensively, as he connected with three 3-point shots for all nine of his points. Spencer Bernhardt added a three for his only points of the game.
    Girard senior Cody Grilz led the home team with 14 points, the only Girard player scoring more than six points on the Dragons.
    “They are a team if you fall asleep defensively, somebody’s going to step in and make an open shot,” Roelfs said. “I didn’t feel like it happened a lot tonight but it happened enough for our guys to know we’ve got a way to go. At the same time, I really liked our defensive intensity. I thought our guys were locked in.”
    Girard (1-1) hosts Baxter Springs on Friday and Pittsburg (2-0) will host Parsons next Tuesday.
    PHS 14 14 10 17 — 55
    GIR 8 11 14 18 — 51
    PITTSBURG (55) — Alaura Short 27, Lizzy Willis 13, Bethanne Elliott 6, Mercedes Vogel 4, Ashlee Beitzinger 3, Katie Phalen 2, Katy Short 0.
    GIRARD (51) — Hadyn Herlocker 30, Jordan Ivey 4, Morgan Herlocker 4, Hannah Jones 3, Carly Heatherly 3, Jenna Schroeder 3, Hope McLeod 2, Paige Zimmerman 2.
    Turnovers — PHS 21, GIR 13. 3-point goals — PHS 0, GHS 4 (H. Herlocker 2, Heatherly 1, Schroeder 1). Free throws — PHS 13-28 (A. Short 5-8, Willis 3-7, Elliott 2-4, Vogel 2-4, Beitzinger 1-5), GIR 15-18 (H. Herlocker 12-14, Jones 3-4).
    PHS 10 13 17 10 — 50
    GIR 5 10 14 7 — 36
    PITTSBURG (50) — Stefon Rich 17, FeDor Lomax 15, Tanner Ellis 9, Nick Vacca 4, Spencer Bernhardt 3, Elijah Hisaiah 2, Kaleb Owens 0.
    GIRARD (36) — Cody Grilz 14, Devin Alters 6, Drew Davied 5, Austin O’Dell 4,
    Trenton Stolte 4, Hunter Peak 3.
    Turnovers — PHS 12, GIR 17. 3-point goals — PHS 4 (Ellis 3, Bernhardt 1), GIR 5 (Grilz 2, Alters 1, Davied 1, Peak 1). Free throws — PHS 4-7 (Vacca 2-2, Rich 1-1, Lomax 1-2, Owens 0-2), GIR 3-6 (Grilz 2-2, Alters 1-4).

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