NEODESHA — Drew Davied and Laike Damman each had 20 points as the second-seeded Girard Trojans were able to pull away from the pesky Caney Valley Bullpups in the second half to earn a 79-52 victory in their opening game in the Wilson County Tournament. The outstanding senior duo were joined in double-scoring by Kross Hamblin and Eric Wilson, who scored 12 and 11 respectively.
Girard jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead, just over two minutes into the contest, relying on their athleticism to make plays on both ends of the court. Caney Valley played well all night, and in the first half matched every Trojan run with one of their own. The Bullpups were able to get the Trojans into early foul trouble, forcing 8 Girard fouls in the first quarter. A three by Caney just before the end of the quarter cut the lead to 25-16 heading into the second.
The Bullpups would begin the second quarter on a 11-6 run to cut a Girard lead that had been as large as 12 to only four, 31-27 with just under four minutes to go in the half. A tight back-and-forth affair was broken open once again by the athleticism of the Trojans. A Laike Damman three, an Eric Wilson steal, and a Drew Davied layup and made free throw in a span of 20 seconds pushed the Girard lead back to 11, 38-27. The Trojans would end the first half on a 13-4 run to head into the locker room with a 44-31 lead.
The second half, particularly the third quarter, is where Girard has been burying their opponents all season long. The game against Caney Valley was no different. The Trojans played a beautiful, unselfish brand of offense that saw every player on the court contribute. It was Davied who shouldered most of the scoring load, but multiple Trojans had assists and offensive rebounds. The athleticism of Girard just proved to be too much for the Bullpups, who could not keep up physically. A Damman buzzer-beating three-pointer to end the quarter staked the Trojans to a 60-44 lead heading into the final quarter.