By steve wilaj
Leaning against the wall outside the locker room following his team’s 77-64 loss at Brookfield on Tuesday, the face of Girard coach Craig Hannon was still red with frustration — a look he wore throughout the game.
But he wasn’t frustrated for the usual reasons.
“They’re good,” Hannon said of the Warriors. “That’s why I’m frustrated. They’re really good.”
So what factored into Hannon’s assessment of Brookfield?
For starters, the Warriors shot 28 of 51 from the field (55 percent), 8 of 13 from behind the arc (62 percent) and 15 of 18 from the foul line (83 percent). They also outrebounded Girard, 29-17.
With a stat line like that, it’s hard to argue with Hannon.
“It’s frustrating to coach against because I don’t think our kids played terrible,” Hannon said.
After a well-played opening 16 minutes, Brookfield (11-2) took only an eight point advantage into halftime. Then, the Warriors — whom Hannon described as “big, long, physical” and a team that “plays well together” — took control.
They used a 19-8 third quarter to put the game out of reach.
“Our third quarter was really important to come out and do what we did,” Brookfield coach Bill Kovach said.
The decisive quarter was powered by a strong effort from senior forward Jeremy Quinlan, who finished with a game-high 27 points and 10 rebounds. In the third quarter, Quinlan hit two of his game-high six 3-pointers.
“My shots were there and I kept hitting them,” Quinlan said.
His shots were there for a reason, though. The Warriors ran a back-pick play multiple times to free up Quinlan.
“It worked every time,” he said. “It was pretty nice to have that play and I kept hitting shots.”
Kovach was a bit reluctant to discuss his successful play, but eventually admitted, “Everybody knows it now anyway.”
“Yeah, we screened the back side for him and he had some wide-open shots,” Kovack said. ‘He’s a really good 3-point shooter.”
Collin Harkulich added 15 points and nine rebounds and Jimmy Quinlan scored 12 points.
“When they roll out three players that are over 6-foot-1, what are you supposed to do?” Hannon said. “It’s just not a good matchup for us and we knew that coming in. Now it’s especially clear.”
Girard (9-6) was led by Korri Maynard with 18 points. Craig Randall added 17 points on 6-of-17 shooting from the field. Harkulich said containing Randall was important.
“We ran our zone to keep all the shooters out,” he said. “Randall, he can make shots. He’ll shoot it from halfcourt if he can. Luckily, he shot himself out of the gym and we were able to stop all of the other shooters.”