LaBrae gets past Girard, 57-49 | News, Sports, Jobs

LaBrae gets past Girard, 57-49 | News, Sports, Jobs

LEAVITTSBURG — Area hoopers are back in action, and Girard got its season started in Leavittsburg on Monday against LaBrae.

The Vikings began their season last week with a victory over Heartland Christian and improved to 2-0 with a 57-49 triumph over the Indians on Monday night.

Girard had a 10-8 advantage at the end of the first quarter before the Vikings rallied to take a 27-23 lead into halftime.

LaBrae built a 12-point advantage in the third quarter, but the Indians battled back to a 50-46 deficit with 1:10 left in regulation.

Luckily for the Vikings, Ella Kuszmaul, who had a team-high 17 points, broke open and completed an and-one to help secure the win.

“We started off pretty rough,” Kuszmaul said. “But, we came together as a team and ended the game well. I got open there at the end and I didn’t want to pass it up. I just wanted to go and score so we could stay ahead.”

The Vikings did just that with the help of a couple of freshmen in Riley Rowe (13 points) and Angel Scruggs (11 points).

“Ella made a big basket with a minute left,” LaBrae coach Mandy Rowe said. “Girard was pressing. We wanted to run clock, but nobody picked her up. She drove in, and got an and-one, which kind of sealed the deal.

“It was a sloppy game for us. We had a lot of turnovers. I attribute that to inexperience. But, we finished strong so I’m proud of the girls.”

The Indians are young with plenty of inexperience as well.

“We need to grow up,” Girard coach Joe Bornemiss said. “We’ve got a lot of young girls out there. Everybody is a sophomore or freshman besides a couple girls. The effort was there tonight. We caught ourselves in some bad spots. When you catch yourself in bad spots against a disciplined, well-coached team, things can break down for you.

“We’ll clean those things up in practice. We play three freshmen. You keep putting them in those situations and they’ll improve as we go through the season.”

Junior Makenzee White finished with a game-high 18 points for Girard. Senior Mia Malito had 13 points and sophomore Ally Gassman finished with 10 points.

Mariah Jones, who had nine points, scored just before the buzzer sounded at the end of the first quarter for LaBrae.

Scruggs stole the ball and laid it in to start the second. Then, Scruggs and White exchanged three-point baskets and the game was tied 17-17. Senior Eva Prejsnar drilled one from behind the arc to put the Vikings ahead at the break.

Riley Rowe made a three-pointer from the corner to start the second half, but White and Gassman kept the Indians in it before Kuszmaul finished it off.

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