After missing two days of school, a ton of practice time and at least one game, both Girard and Webb City are anxious to get back on the basketball court.

After missing two days of school, a ton of practice time and at least one game, both Girard and Webb City are anxious to get back on the basketball court.
Tonight, the Trojans and Cardinals will square off at 6 p.m. at Pittsburg State’s John Lance Arena and both teams are more than ready.
“It has been a crazy last couple of days and we want to play,” said Girard head boy’s coach Rod Wescott. “We would also like to practice to get some of the rust off.”
In the girl’s contest, the feature will be a pair of teams with two losses each and the ability to spread around the scoring.
Webb City (15-2) is ranked No. 6 in Missouri Class 4 and is lead by sophomore Caitlin Jaeger who averages 22 points and 10 rebounds per game.
“She does a lot for us,” said Webb City girl’s coach Brad Shorter “Those other kids do a good job of getting her the ball and we have to understand that we have to play inside out.”
Shorter, a Pitt State grad, coached at Carl Junction (Mo.) for three years before coming to Webb City this season.
He said that getting back to PSU is an exciting venture for him and his players.
“I think it will be a good experience for the kids to be in that atmosphere and against a team like Girard,” Shorter said.
The Trojans (8-2), on the other hand, have junior Carly Twarog, who also averages double-digits in scoring this season.
“They are very solid,” Shorter said. “Watching Carly Twarog, she is a very good player and we are going to have to do a good job against them.”
In the boy’s contest, Webb City (8-8) will bring height into their matchup with Girard (10-1), but Cardinals’ head coach David Sherer said that it is not much of an advantage.
“With the Poppe kid and the Kelly kid and their ability to play, I wouldn’t say that we have a size advantage,” Sherer said. “They have experience and that will offset our size inside.”
Webb City will rely on the interior play of 6-foot-8 senior Graham Parker — who has signed to play football at Oklahoma State. This is the first year that Parker has played varsity.
However, the Cardinals are led by 6-5 senior Trey Laveroni — the lone returning starter from last year — who averages 17 points and six rebounds per game.
“They will be the biggest team we have seen this year,” Wescott said. “They are not just tall but they are physical and athletic as well.
“Matchups are going to be tough for us because we are giving up some size in some positions.”
But Girard will counter with the shooting of senior J.D. Heatherly along with Tanner Poppe and Darian Kelly.
“We have been watching film and shaking our heads at them,” Sherer said. “They have kids that can shoot very well and they will pose some big problems for us.”
Regardless of matchups and experience, all four coaches said that it is time to get back on the court after winter weather halted games and practice this week.
“It makes it tough when you have a situation when you not only lose games but practice time but, you have to make the best of the situation,” said Girard girl’s coach Brad Herlocker.

Matthew Clark can be reached at or at 620-231-2600, Ext. 140