Big first quarter lifts LaBrae past Girard
Next: Garfield at LaBrae, today, 7:30 p.m.
Next: Girard at Newton Falls, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
By Jim Flick
The LaBrae High School men’s basketball team roared out to a 16-0 first quarter lead Tuesday night and defeated Girard High 65-52.
After the lopsided first quarter, Girard outscored LaBrae 48-45. But the Vikings held a lead of at least nine points until the final buzzer.
“We played defense and forced them to take tough shots,” LaBrae coach Chad Kiser said of his team’s first-half effort. “Offensively, we played well as a team all game.
“But we lost our focus on defense after the first quarter.”
LaBrae was led by senior Jacob Jaros, who scored a game-high 35 points and hauled down seven rebounds.
Peyton Aldridge, a freshman, scored nine points for LaBrae and also grabbed seven rebounds. Matt Szorady, a junior, tallied nine points for the Vikings (16-1, 7-0 All-American Conference Blue).
Girard (5-13, 2-5) was led by junior Brandon Byrd and freshman Evan Standohar, who each scored 12 points. Senior Matt Pagano added 10 points, and junior Mike Bornemiss was the team leader with six rebounds.
The 6-foot, 4-inch Jaros dominated the early minutes of the game, sinking four straight shots to give the Vikings an 8-0 lead.
Aldridge shot a long-range 3-pointer and Szorady sank a pair of free throws before Jaros connected on a 3-point shot to boost LaBrae’s lead to 16-0.
“He just played a solid game,” Kiser said of Jaros. “He made solid moves to the basket and made good shots.”
Standohar ended Girard’s scoring drought late in the first quarter, but Pagano swished the Indians’ only other basket of the period.
LaBrae led 20-4 at the end of the game’s first quarter.
A determined Girard squad bounced back in the second quarter, out-scoring LaBrae 18-14 in the stanza.
But the Indians were able to cut the lead under 10 point only once, when senior Ryan Trimbur stole the ball and dribbled downcourt for a layup the pulled Girard to within nine points, 30-21.
Jaros responded with a field goal that boosted LaBrae’s lead to 32-21, and the Vikings’ lead remained in double figures for the rest of the game.
After the first quarter, Girard outscored LaBrae 48-45.
Girard coach Nolan Cubellis said his team “just came out a little flat in the first quarter. Not a lot of our shots went down.”
In fact, the Indians missed their first 10 shots of the game.
“It just snowballed,” Cubellis said. “They [LaBrae] came out and made their shots early, and kept making them” in the first quarter.