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Girard dispatches Hubbard, 56-40

GIRARD — The Girard Indians (6-2) notched another victory with a 56-40 Northeast-8 conference triumph at home over Hubbard on Tuesday.

After taking a 13-7 lead to the second quarter, the Indians couldn’t buy a basket in the second as there appeared to be a lid on the rim.

The Eagles took advantage after they took a timeout to figure out a way to beat Girard’s press. Riley Heckert made a no-look pass to Kaden Lowe (10 points). Niko Hendrix nailed a jumper and Logan Bates (team-high 15 points) finished with a lefty lay-up as Hubbard cut into the lead.

“We figured they were going to give us pressure,” Hubbard coach Joe Bornemiss said. “We’ve been battling pressure all season. I thought our defensive effort was good. We have to be better at getting the ball in the basket. Especially in this conference.”

The Indians finally got the ball in the basket when junior Gus Johnson (team-high 15 points) got up high above the rim to slam it through as halftime approached.

“I think that dunk got us going,” Johnson said. “Every time I dunk it really gets us going. It helps us gain momentum.”

Girard was able to maintain a 22-18 advantage at the break.

“I thought we did a much better job of working inside out in the second half,” Girard coach Craig Hannon said. “Hubbard did a good job of pushing us out, in the first half, with their zone. Some nights, you don’t shoot it well. You have to do the other things well. You have to rebound and defend well. Make free-throws. This group is experienced. They find a way to win even with a poor shooting night.”

The Indians tried starting the second half with an alley-oop pass to Johnson. The connection failed as Johnson went diving out of bounds to save it. Thomas Cardiero (12 points) cleaned it up and Girard extended the lead.

Ashton Pozega (10 points) worked hard inside. Mike Palmer had a lay-in plus the foul. Brody Snyder had a big block for Hubbard, but Girard took a 37-26 lead to the fourth quarter.

Cardiero scored down low and the Indians began to pull away. Johnson took it strong to the hoop, and drilled a 3-pointer, as Girard put the finishing touches on another win.

“We played well tonight,” Johnson said. “We haven’t played in about two weeks because everything’s been getting canceled. So, I was happy with how we executed. We have big goals. We’re looking to win the Northeast 8 conference. We want to go even further and win big prizes.”

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