Chargers’ winning streak halted in Fairfield
How do you stop a hot team?
Not letting it shoot the ball is a good start.
The Fairfield girls turned up the heat on defense and came away with 19 steals on their way to a 56-32 blowout win over streaking Chariton Tuesday at FHS Gymnasium. The non-conference victory snapped a two-game losing streak for the Trojans, and their eighth win of the season also broke a six-game winning streak for the Chargers (9-11).
“We keep track of deflections, and to me that keeps track of how hard the kids are working. Today we had a lot of deflections that led to 19 team steals,” Fairfield head coach Mick Flattery said. “I just love how hard they worked on defense. They were playing the passing lanes beautifully.”
The Trojans kept Chariton off the scoreboard for the initial five-plus minutes of the game and held the visitors to six points over the entire first period. Fairfield led 26-17 at the midway point, and Chariton managed to score just two more points in the third quarter as the game turned into a blowout.
“I feel like everyone worked really hard today on defense,” said Fairfield junior Hanna Greiner, who finished the game with 15 points, eight rebounds and three steals. “Everyone was moving, and we had really good communication, especially back in our zone, so that really helped out tonight.”
The Trojans kicked off the game on an 8-0 run thanks to baskets by Marisa Repp, Sidney Baumann and Greiner. Chariton clawed back from the free throw line in the final two minutes of the quarter to narrow the deficit to 8-6, but Baumann nailed a 3 at quarter’s end to preserve the lead.
Miranda Metcalf and Greiner were both hit with two fouls apiece early in the first half, and the Trojans, who were already missing post players Brittany Kurtz and McKenna Ledger due to injury and illness, had to adjust early.
“It forced us to go a little smaller, quicker,” said Flattery. “So we kind of had to back off some things and instead of full court, we had to do more stuff in the half court.”
Fairfield weathered the storm, and after a 17-all tie, finished the half on a 9-0 run. Baumann broke the tie on a 3-point play, and Repp connected from beyond the arc to hand Fairfield a 23-17 lead. Greiner closed out the half with a free throw and buzzer-beating 2-pointer.
“Even with our adversity with the girls sick and hurt, we didn’t panic. ... That is what’s great about these girls. You really can’t tell without a roster who’s freshman, sophomore, junior, senior because they all play well together,” Flattery said.
The Trojans held Chariton scoreless for nearly six minutes out of the break, and Fairfield upped its lead from 26-17 to 36-17. Chariton finally got on the scoreboard with two minutes left in the third period, but both Repp and Baumann scored a pair more baskets for a 40-19 lead headed into the fourth.
“The third quarter was huge. We held them over seven minutes scoreless [spanning the second and third quarters], so little things like that really led to a getaway for us as far as the lead,” said Flattery.
In the final quarter of play, Baumann scored the first five points for Fairfield prior to the reserves hitting the court. The senior continued her late-season surge with a team-high 17 points on 7-for-11 shooting, and she totaled 10 rebounds and four assists.
Also for Fairfield, Repp had nine points, six boards, four assists and four steals for a full stat line. Karley Williams provided a big boost off the bench tallying seven points, eight rebounds and three steals. Sydney Burnett chipped in four points, two assists and two steals; and Metcalf nabbed five steals.
The Trojans made nearly half their shots from the field (23-for-48) and pulled in 39 rebounds. The home team also effectively shared the wealth on its way to a 12-assist day, while limiting its turnovers to only 13.
“This team has so much potential, and I feel like we could definitely peak in the postseason and make it really far,” Greiner added.
Fairfield (8-12, 2-5 Southeast Conference) concludes the regular season Friday with Senior Night vs. Fort Madison, which is coming off a home victory over Washington.
“We know we have to take care of business Friday with Senior Night. Once all the flowers and hugs and kisses are done, it’s time to play 32 minutes of basketball against a team that I’m sure feels they should’ve beaten us down [in Fort Madison].”
The JV girls’ game kicks off events at 4:45 p.m., followed by girls’ varsity and boys’ varsity games.
Fairfield vs. Chariton
FAIRFIELD— 11 15 14 16 — 56
CHARITON— 6 11 2 13 — 32
FAIRFIELD — Baumann 7 1-1 17, Greiner 7 1-3 15, Repp 4 0-2 9, Williams 2 3-4 7, Burnett 1 2-2 4, Metcalf 1 0-0 2, Flattery 1 0-0 2, Ferrel 0 0-1 0, McClure 0 0-1 0, Totals 23 7-14 56.
3-point goals — Baumann 2, Repp. Rebounds — Baumann 10, Williams 8, Greiner 8, Repp 6. Assists — Baumann 4, Repp 4, Burnett 2, Greiner 2. Steals — Metcalf 5, Repp 4, Williams 3, Greiner 3, Baumann 2, Burnett 2.