BAYARD — The Bayard boys and girls used big defensive efforts in the third period to register wins over Garden County on Friday night at Bayard High School.
The Bayard girls held Garden County to just three second-half points while evening their record at 3-3 with a 44-21 win over. The Bayard boys, meanwhile, enjoyed balanced scoring in addition to a solid third quarter to capture a 54-33 win.
The Tiger girls received big performances from Chellani Parriott and Miah Vera, who combined for 36 points. The two guards each lit it up in different halves. Parriott had 22 points, 14 of which came in the first half. Vera finished with 14 points, including 11 in the second half.
Bayard coach Kayla Fiscus said it was a big win for her team, which will face Kimball tonight.
“We came out kind of slow in the first half but then when we started pressing in the second half, we forced a lot of turnovers and we were able to capitalize on them,” Coach Fiscus said. “This win is huge because we are now 3-3, and it has been a long time since we were 3-3 or were even breaking even.”
She lauded all of her girls’ play, even though the majority of the points came from just two players.
“I told Chellani at halftime that they will come in and shut her down. Anytime you score that many points in the first half, they will shut you down and someone else will have to step up, and Miah did just that,” Fiscus said.
The first quarter was tight as Bayard held a slim 16-11 lead. In the second quarter, the Eagles out-scored Bayard 7-4 as the Tigers took a 20-18 lead into halftime.
Bayard built a bigger cushion in the second half, helped by the Tigers’ solid play on defense.
“We came out starting the game in man, and we weren’t rebounding real well defensively,” she said. “When we switched up and played full-court man or even pressed, we were able to cause a lot of turnovers.”
Bayard opened the third quarter with seven straight points, including five from Vera. Garden County finally scored on a lay-up, but Bayard scored the final six points to lead 33-20 after three periods.
The fourth period was all Bayard, which scored the first nine points before Garden County’s Autumn Smith connected on one free throw with 1:14 left. Bayard outscored Garden County 11-1 in the final period.
Bayard had just five players score. Besides Parriott and Vera, Amber Willey and Kaylie Fiscus each had four points, and Mandi Cottrell had two.
Garden County was led by Courtney Leach with 11 points followed by Alissa Miller with seven. Smith, a freshman, was the only other Eagle to score, putting in three points.
Coach Fiscus said her team will need to play strong defense again tonight against Kimball.
“We will have to play tough, tough defense and hope our shots fall a little bit better than they did [Friday night],” Fiscus said.
The Bayard boys were just as impressive in their contest. Bryce Hargens led the team with 13 points followed by Phil Schuller with 11. Also nearing double digits were Tyler Fiscus with nine, Justin Baird with eight, and Jacob Hoff with seven.
Bayard coach Neil Baker liked his team’s performance.
“We didn’t shoot the ball very well, but other than that we played pretty well,” he said. “We got lots of shots, and I thought our big guys were really a difference in the game with them rebounding the ball because we had a size advantage. We missed a lot of easy shots — shots that we need to make. That didn’t prove to be a difference tonight, but there will be games down the road that if we miss those shots it will cost us. I was really happy with our defense.”
Bayard led 15-7 after the first quarter and then pushed its advantage to 28-16 at halftime. In the third quarter, the Tigers outscored Garden County 19-6.
“We came out with our best defensive intensity in that third quarter, and my big guys caught it and scored,” Baker said. “When the big guys score, we are pretty good. But when the big guys don’t score, then the game starts to become a struggle and tough on our perimeter guys.”
Bayard opened up the contest in the third period, going on a 10-2 run to lead 38-18. Bayard finished off the quarter on a 9-0 run that was highlighted by back-to-back buckets by the 6-foot-5 senior Hargens for a 47-22 lead.
Garden County also had balanced scoring, but no one scored in double figures. Ryan Smith led the way with nine points followed by Elliott Epp with eight and Mason Zorn and Dustin Bleidt with six each.
Bayard will be back in action today when they travel to Kimball. Baker said his team should match up well with Kimball.
“I would think we have a pretty good shot to get them. It has been a long time since we’ve beaten Kimball, but it has been a long time since Mike Daum hasn’t been there. We are looking forward to going down there and playing a whole different Kimball team that doesn’t have the size. But they are very quick and have good athletes. It will be a challenge.”
Garden County...................11 7 2 1—21
Bayard (3-3)....................16 4 13 11—44
GC: Autumn Smith, Alissa Miller 7, Courtney Leach 11.
B: Miah Vera 14, Chellani Parriott 22, Mandi Cottrell 2, Kaylie Fiscus 4, Amber Willey 4.
Garden County.................7 9 6 11—33
Bayard.........................15 13 19 7—54
GC: Nick Koppman 2, Ryan Smith 9, Mason Zorn 6, Elliott Epp 8, Dustin Bleidt 6, Noah Lake 2.
B: Chandler Cox 4, Tyler Fiscus 9, Justin Baird 8, Phil Schuller 11, Jacob Hoff 7, Bryce Hargens 13, Ethan Marker 2.