GIRARD — After a fast start in the opening period, the Girard girls’ basketball team had a hard time scoring against Prairie View in the second eight minutes of play. The Trojans figured things out in the second half.
The GHS girls jumped out to an early 11-0 lead over the Buffalos to start the game before taking a 17-9 lead into the second quarter. The offense got a bit stagnant, as Girard managed just five points, but maintained their eight-point lead at the intermission. Things turnaround quickly in the final 16 minutes of game action, as the Trojan girls went on to blow out the Buffalos 48-21 in front of the home crowd.
“We have a game plan coming into every game, and it was really nice to see our girls come in and love up to their potential both offensively and defensively," Girard head coach Brad Herlocker said.
The Trojans (5-1) came out of the intermission with a plan in mind to slow things down and reverse the ball across the court, according to Coach Herlocker. The game plan worked to near perfection as Girard outscored Prairie View 15-5 in the third period to pull in front by 17.
“We had some things we wanted to work on," Herlocker said. "We did a much better job in the second half of reversing the basketball, which really opened things up. I thought the defense was there all night and it was pretty excellent."
Forward Ashley Ray played a big role in the success Girard had out of the locker room, specifically on the glass. She grabbed a pair of offensive rebounds early for put-back scores to help get things rolling for Girard in the third quarter.
She had a solid night on the defensive end as well, staying out of foul trouble while making it difficult for the Buffalos to find any offense down low.
“Ashley really makes our defense go," Herlocker said. "If we do make mistakes out on the perimeter, she is always there to clean things up. She is really figuring out the game of basketball. As she gets better our whole team will get better."
Ray finished the night with 12 points.
Joining Ray in double figures, Olivia Hanson had 11 points and Sydnee Crain finished with 10 points.
After three straight buckets from Ray to push the lead to 15 points, Hanson and Lauren Franklin finished out the quarter with scores to put GHS in front 37-20.
It was just a matter of keeping the Buffalos penned up in the final quarter, which the Trojans did well, outscoring Prairie View 9-1 on the way to the win.
Girard scored the first 11 points of the game to gain the early momentum against Prairie View.
After Ray found Murphy on a backdoor cut to the basket from the high post, Crain scored on the break and knocked down a 3-pointer from the wing with 6:19 on the clock to give the Trojans a 7-0 lead.
Hanson had back-to-back scores in the paint to close out the run to start the game.
The Trojan girls look to keep the momentum rolling as they travel to Columbus Jan. 12 to take on the Titans.
Trojan boys win in run-away fashion
It didn't take long for the Girard boys' basketball team to assert their dominance over Prairie View Friday night.
The game was tied 8-8 early in the first quarter and within a blink of an eye, the Trojans put the pedal to the floor to outscore the Buffalos 11-2 by the end of the first quarter. The Girard defense stepped out and limited Prairie View 11 points over the remaining three quarters, while the offense pulled away for a 53-21 win.
The Trojans' perfect season continues, as they move their record to 6-0 on the season with a first-place standing in the Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League.
Drew Davied led GHS in scoring, going off in the third quarter with 14 of his 24-total points to help his team distance themselves on the scoreboard.
Davied found plenty of room to work inside the paint, dropping in five field goals in the third period from close range.
Laike Damman finished in double figures for the Trojans as well, tallying up 11 total points, all of which came in the first half of play.
The opening minutes of the game was back and forth between the pair of schools. The Buffalos took the outright lead, knocking down several shots at the start to force Girard to keep pace, which they did without problem.
The first quarter ended with excitement as the Trojans closed out with a large run, including a last-second 3-pointer from Tyler Green as the buzzer sounded.
Girard travels to Columbus for a CNC matchup on Jan. 12.
Lucas Davis is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at email@example.com and follow him on twitter at @LDsportswriter.