Girard storms over Hubbard, into first
The Indians reign atop the TAC after their convincing victory.
By CHUCK HOUSTEAU
HUBBARD -- "Another night of play," said Girard High basketball standout Cachet Murray after she scored 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Indians into sole possession of first place in the Trumbull Athletic Conference with a 54-32 win Thursday.
"I love playing basketball," Murray said, "especially with these girls. Our seniors really stepped it up, especially on defense."
Girard limited Hubbard (7-4, 5-1 TAC) to five points in the first quarter and six in the third, and kept Eagles leading scorer Lynle Cornell in check most of the night.
Cornell finished with 17 points but didn't get many good shot attempts.
"I think our defense was outstanding tonight," said Girard coach Andy Saxon. "We did a really good job on Cornell and shut her down a little bit.
"We've been stressing defense since day one and we really stepped it up defensively."
Hubbard only took six shots in the first quarter as Girard set the tone right away.
The Indians (10-1, 6-0), whose only loss came against Niles in a game that Murray didn't play, also started rather slowly offensively Thursday.
Girard got two field goals from Murray and one from Justine Christopher to lead 6-5.
But Murray was only getting started.
The junior, who scored 31 and 37 points her last two games, started heating up from the outside.
"The key to stopping Girard is not to let [Murray] get going," said Hubbard coach Dave Konczal. "That's what the teams that have been successful have done because she's such a dominant player once she does get going.
"I thought we had a solid game plan [to stop Murray] that we didn't even come close to executing."
Murray proceeded to score 11 of Girard's 20 points in the second quarter and 12 of the 17 points in the third quarter as the Indians gradually pulled away.
"[Murray] makes everyone around her better," Saxon said. "When she hits the outside shot, she's unstoppable.
"You can't sag on her and if she starts to hit outside shots you have to come out and guard her, and she is so quick she'll just slash right to the basket."
Murray got offensive help from Lora Doran, who made 10 points and pulled down six rebounds. Four other Girard players put points on the board.
"We had no pressure tonight because everyone said that we weren't going to win," Murray said. "They picked us to finish fifth in the league.
"So we came out and wanted to show everyone we're the No. 1 team in the league and now we are."