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Morning Sun
  • Colgan jumps to lead, but Girard rallies for win

  • For the longest time Tuesday night, it looked as if the St. Mary’s Colgan girls would end their decade-plus futility against Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League rival Girard.

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  • For the longest time Tuesday night, it looked as if the St. Mary’s Colgan girls would end their decade-plus futility against Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League rival Girard.
    Despite an early 4-0 hole and despite committing five turnovers in the first 2 minutes, 45 seconds of the game, Colgan scored the final eight points of the first quarter, led 21-14 at halftime and entered the fourth and final stanza with a 27-23 advantage.
    Six consecutive points by Girard senior Hadyn Herlocker made it a 31-all score with 5:29 remaining, then Colgan went back ahead on its next possession.
    Those were the final Colgan points of the game and Girard scored the next 10 en route to a 41-33 win at the St. Mary’s Colgan Fieldhouse.
    “They sagged off,” Girard head coach Brad Herlocker said. “Hadyn was hurting them with the drive. I think that 3-point shot was kind of a dagger shot. The girls did a great job of showing composure and executing our delay game. We just took control of the game. Up until that point, we were not in control.”
    That 3-point shot came from the hands of Hadyn Herlocker — it broke a 33-33 score and it was the first and only 3-point shot Girard made all game. With  its lead, Girard played its patented tough defense, burned precious seconds off the clock and made five of its six free throws in the final 2 minutes.
    At one point in the second quarter, Colgan took a 19-8 lead. Senior guard Taylor Bolinger poured in six consecutive points on 3s and scored 11 of her team-high 14 points in the first half. Girard forced nine second half turnovers on Colgan, another factor in the comeback win.
    “Just playing good solid hard-nosed defense,” Coach Herlocker said. “I felt like the first three quarters we did a lot of gambling. A lot of unneeded gambling that created advantages for them at the offensive end. I tried making those adjustments and I think about mid-fourth quarter we got those adjustments made and tried to make them earn each and every basket. We did a great job of boxing out down the stretch and only holding them to one shot.”
    Hadyn Herlocker led all scorers with 19 points and all rebounders with eight.
    Girard junior Ashley Johnson, junior Hannah Jones and sophomore MaCahla Leslie helped the Trojans recover from an early 10-2 rebounding disadvantage and the trio combined for 13 points and nine rebounds.
    “Ashley Johnson made some big plays for us inside,” Coach Herlocker said. “Hannah Jones worked her tail off on defense.”
    Nichole Kolarik finished with 10 points and four rebounds for Colgan. Younger sister Katie Kolarik added three points and a team-high seven boards.
    Girard (12-3, 4-0 CNC) travels across county lines next Tuesday to face Baxter Springs. The Trojans defeated the Lions during their early December meeting by one point, 45-44, and Leslie blocked a potential Baxter game-winning shot as time expired.
    Page 2 of 2 - Colgan (7-6, 0-2) travels across state lines to face Liberal on Thursday, a rematch of the Tony Dubray Classic title game.
    Colgan boys 59, Girard 53
    During a game when neither team scored less than double figures for all four quarters, Colgan mustered 20 fourth quarter points, mostly on free throws.
    “I thought it was a well-played game by both teams,” Colgan head coach Wayne Cichon said. “I think they did some things well, we did some things well. Free throw shooting was big late. I think that was critical, being able to knock free throws down. If Girard comes down and hits a 3 or gets an easy bucket and we come down and miss free throws, all of a sudden that score starts easing closer and closer together. And I thought our defense was very important after the initial run they had through the third quarter.”
    Colgan made 13 fourth quarter free throws and sophomore Austin Commons finished with 21 points in part because he shot 8-9 on free throws for the game. Ironically, the Panthers helped Girard stay within double-digits early in the second half after Dyson Dechant and Luke Marquardt blanked on four straight free throws.
    “Four straight free throws,” Cichon said. “I didn’t know what kind of a night we were going to have from the line. They regrouped and we made some big free throws late.”
    Girard senior Trenton Stolte made it a 36-all game on a driving basket, the first and only tie score of the contest. Commons answered with a 3, Colgan led 39-38 after three and the Panthers edged their lead out to 46-38 about 3 minutes into the fourth, putting Girard in perpetual catch-up mode.
    Girard used a 11-3 run to draw even in the third — driving baskets from Laike Damman, Nick George, Cody Grilz and Stolte, plus a 3-pointer by Drew Davied.
    “They can shoot the ball from the arc very well,” Cichon said. “(Devin) Alters is a tremendous 3-point shooter and Davied can fill it up from out there. Throw in Stolte, he can drive and Grilz can drive. They’ve got a good blend of players and you’ve got to defend everything.”
    Dechant led all scorers with 23 points and Commons added 21. Dechant scored 17 of his points before halftime and Commons scored 15 of his points after halftime. Marquardt added eight points.
    Grilz led three Girard scorers in double figures with 13 points, all 13 after halftime. Alters and Davied both finished with 10 and Stolte added eight.
    Colgan (11-3, 2-0 CNC) plays Southeast on Friday and Girard (6-9, 1-3) plays Baxter Springs. Both are road stops for the Panthers and the Trojans.
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