Girard girls hold off LaBrae
Indians’ Bishop posts double-double
By Joe Catullo jr.
On the verge of a double-digit comeback, the LaBrae Vikings were thinking victory against Girard in the final seconds on Saturday.
But trailing by five with 39 seconds remaining, a traveling violation gave the Indians possession and control of the clock. They made all but one free throw en route to a 52-48 victory in a Division III sectional opener.
Bree Bishop led Girard with 14 points and 11 reboounds, while Hayley Spalla and Miranda Boyle each had 11 points. Spalla also had four assists.
The Indians (17-6) scored 20 points in the first quarter, committed two turnovers and led by 10. Midway in the second quarter, they held a 15-point lead and were on their way to a blowout.
“They knew in their hearts they were down by 15, but they knew they could come back,” Vikings coach Lisa Aldridge said of her players. “There was no question on putting our heads down and going home. My kids are hard-nosed kids that play to the end, and that’s what they did today.”
When halftime struck, LaBrae (13-10) trailed by six. The Indians committed nine turnovers in the second quarter, leading to the Vikings’ 13 points.
“We played a good first quarter,” Girard coach Andy Saxon said. “After that, we just missed too many easy shots, too many bunnies. You can’t do that in the tournament. We started the ball over, making unforced errors, and they started making some shots. We just played real sloppy after that first quarter.”
Girard gained more ground after a 13-10 third quarter, leading by eight into the final frame. More missed layups and open jump shots made the Indians frustrated while the Vikings took advantage.
“We started pressing and did a pretty nice job with the pressure,” Aldridge said.
It almost paid off.
“When you turn the ball over offensively, our defense stepped up and got some turnovers also, which helped,” Saxon said. “We stepped it up in the fourth quarter. Whether they were jitters or not, I don’t know. We overcame those turnovers and missed easy baskets to win the game.”
Ashlee Stubbs led LaBrae with 14 points and 10 rebounds, Somer McCoy had 13 points and Lauren Rutherford scored 10.
Girard will meet Ursuline on Saturday.