Difficult weekend slate spoils Fairfield boys’ return
Perhaps no area team faced a stiffer set of tests in its return to the hardwood than the Fairfield boys’ basketball team, which had back-to-back road games against talented upstart Fort Madison and defending Class 1A state champion Danville.
The Trojans fell to Fort Madison 65-35 on Friday and then lost a 72-32 game to Danville on Saturday, dropping their record to 1-7 overall and 1-2 in the Southeast Conference.
“They’re two very good teams, but we thought they were teams we could compete with,” Fairfield head coach Tyler Miklo said after the games. “We’re obviously disappointed with the way we played.”
In Friday’s game, Fairfield fell behind in the first quarter and never caught up. The host Bloodhounds grabbed a modest 13-8 lead over the initial eight-minute period, then took off in the second quarter on a 17-8 run.
The Bloodhounds built onto their 30-16 lead after halftime, outscoring Fairfield 18-14 in the third period and holding the visitors to five points in the final quarter.
The senior duo of Spencer Peterman and Darrin Dimmitt paced the Fairfield offense with eight points apiece. Another senior, Kyle Weirup, scored four points, while junior Vince Horras and freshman Jordan Reid also netted four points each. Matt Carr scored three, and Landon Gamrath and Jake Greiner tacked on two points apiece.
The Bloodhounds, who finished with a 4-17 record last season, are currently 6-2 overall and second only to Mount Pleasant in the Southeast Conference.
“They put in a lot of time. They decided they wanted to get better. They have some size, and obviously having a point guard like Miles [Wentzien] helps,” Miklo said of Fort Madison.
In Saturday’s game, the Trojans couldn’t match Danville’s soft touch from beyond the 3-point arc. The top-ranked (Class 1A) Bears were good on 12 treys compared to just 13 total field goals for the visiting Trojans.
Danville took an early lead and found itself safely on top 25-6 after the first period. The Bears scored another 11 points in the second quarter to take a 36-14 lead into halftime. They then outscored the Trojans 36-18 the rest of the way.
Brothers Steven and Michael Soukup scored 24 and 18 points, respectively, to lead Danville, which is currently 9-0 in 2012-13. Only two of the Bears’ opponents have eclipsed 40 points this season, and only one while playing in Danville.
Fairfield was led offensively by Horras’ seven points on three field goals, and Peterman wasn’t far behind with six points. Both players also led on the glass tallying five boards each.
Also for the Trojans, Weirup, Dimmitt, Gamrath and Reid all contributed four points apiece. Carr nailed the Trojans’ lone trey to finish with three points, and he dished out two assists. Jordan Whitney finished the game with two blocks and two assists.
Miklo said his team showed signs of progress over stretches in both games, but they were unable to put it all together.
“We’re still looking for that four-quarter game. Once we get it all together, I look for big things. It’s frustrating at times, but we’ve just got to stay positive,” Miklo added.
Fairfield returns to the friendly confines of Fairfield High School Gymnasium Tuesday with a game against Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont (5-4).
Fairfield @ Ft. Madison
FAIRFIELD — 8 8 14 5 — 35
FT. MADISON—13 17 18 17 — 65
FAIRFIELD — Peterman 8, Dimmitt 8, Weirup 4, Horras 4, Reid 4, Carr 3, Gamrath 2, Greiner 2, Total 35
Rebounds — Peterman 6, Greiner 5. Assists — Hietpas 4, Dimmitt 3. Blocks — Horras 2
Fairfield @ Danville
FAIRFIELD — 6 8 9 9 — 32
DANVILLE — 25 11 17 19 — 72
FAIRFIELD — Horras 7, Peterman 6, Weirup 4, Dimmitt 4, Gamrath 4, Reid 4, Carr 3, Total 32
3-point goals — Carr 1. Rebounds — Peterman 5, Horras 5. Assists — Carr 2, Whitney 2, Reid 2. Blocks — Gamrath 2, Horras 2, Whitney 2.