Girard wins defensive battle with Brookfield

GIRARD – The defensive effort put forth from both teams stood out most in Girard’s 38-27 win on Monday night against Brookfield.

The first half started off slow. By halftime, the score was only 16-16. The offense that both teams chose to execute meant utilizing several passes in order to open up the lane for an easy bucket or kickout pass. Knowing the game was going to be low scoring with that strategy, they needed to make every point count. The Indians ended up shooting 44 percent from the field.

Girard coach Andrew Saxon knew the points would be at a premium from previous years.

“The past two or three years, when we play Brookfield, our scores have been very low,” Saxon said. “We both run different offenses. We both try to move the ball around a lot. So we make a lot of passes and both groups can handle the pressure. We didn’t turn the ball over that much so there was not many transition points. We got some points on rebounding and made some shots. It was a well-played game, especially defensively, by both groups.”

Bree Bishop connected on five shots and went 3 of 6 from the charity stripe. Alasjia Dykes, who had to sit some of the first half due to foul trouble, finished with seven.

“She’s (Bishop) our go-to person,” Saxon said. “She is leading Trumbull County in rebounds. What we pride ourselves on is getting third and fourth shots because of our size. When we shoot, we really try to hit the boards the best we can to get the second and third shots. Today we got a few of them and they fell for us.”

Bishop said her team used this game to get ready for the playoffs.

“Our defense was good today, but it isn’t where it needs to be,” Bishop said. “We haven’t really been going full out. My team was starting to get more involved in playing better together. We need to work on defense and continue to work as a team. We are getting it all together and ready for the playoffs.”

For the warriors, Brookfield coach Shawn Hammond said his team did what was asked of them, but chalked up the loss to missed shots. Brookfield went 11 of 51 from the field (22 percent).

“Defensively, I think that we were playing well,” Hammond said. “We just could not make a shot. We were missing free throws. The effort was there. They had some size inside, we were battling our off forwards. I’m happy with how my kids battled and I’m happy with the way they played defense. We had a lot of wide-open looks. We just couldn’t put the ball in the hoop. For me, that’s what it boiled down to. I don’t think that we had a lot of turnovers. We executed well. We had open looks. We just couldn’t make them.”

In the Warriors’ last effort to try to cut the 10-point deficit in the fourth, they tried a trapping full-court press to create turnovers and transition lay-ups, but the third quarter hurt them as they only scored four points.

“We just were trying to get them to turn it over,” Hammond said. “We were down 10, we got out of it in the second and third quarter and then tried to come back with it. When you’re not scoring, you can’t press. We would have like to keep it up most of the game, but we just got in a lull where we only score four points in the third quarter. Good teams just can’t do that. I’m happy the way they played, just couldn’t hit the shots we needed to.”

Autumn Kirila finished with 11 points for Brookfield.