BAXTER SPRINGS - The Lions couldn’t contain Girard’s Caleb Muin, who ended with 25 points (mostly within close range), and the outside shooting of Ethan Goff Goff, who finished with 16 points.
The game was a story of two halves, with the Trojans finishing on top 58-52.
The first half was all Girard. They led 14-5 after the opening quarter, and 31-17 at the break. The Lions could only muster a 3-pointer by Trey White, and a field goal by Billy Buck in the first.
Baxter Springs outscored Girard 16-8 in the third period. Girard started out 37-19. They managed only two points the remaining quarter. The Lions went on a 12-2 run. White and Preston Landis scored, then White hit a three and a field goal. Landis scored again, then White canned a shot beyond the arc at the buzzer to close the Trojan lead at 39-33.
Blake Theissen brought the Lions down to only 39-36 at the start of the final stanza. Landis banged one off the glass to bring Baxter Springs within a point at 39-38. Tucker Graves underneath scored to put the Lions again down by one 41-40.
Girard went to 43, but Landis brought the game to 43-42. The Trojans then went on an eight point run, including two free throws after a Lions technical foul. White canned another 3-pointer. Landis brought Baxter Springs within four 51-47. Lions was still in the game until Muin hit three free throws to put them at 54. White hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game, but the Lions ran out of clock.
With long range shooting White finished with 23 points, followed by Landis with 12. Brant Trease added six points, and Graves five.
It was the first game of the new season for the Lions. Baxter Springs boys now travel to Diamond Missouri this Thursday, to end their 2017 portion of the schedule.