Fairfield rallies, falls short vs. Mustangs
For the second straight game, the Fairfield boys’ basketball team treated its home crowd to some late-game drama.
This time, however, the Trojans wound up on the losing end of the score.
Fairfield staged two rallies in the final five minutes Tuesday, but Davis County fought back both times to hand the Trojans’ a 54-49 defeat at Fairfield High School gymnasium.
“We’re disappointed. We made a lot of mental mistakes that we’re not good enough to make and still win the game against anybody,” said Fairfield head coach Tyler Miklo. “[The mistakes are] disappointing now, but they can be corrected, and that’s what we need to take away from tonight.”
Trailing 42-35 with less than five minutes to go, Fairfield cut the deficit to four following a three-point play from senior Spencer Peterman. Moments later, freshman Jordan Reid stole the ball and drove to the basket uncontested to bring Fairfield within two. Davis County built its lead back up to four before a 3 from junior Joe Hietpas cut the Mustangs’ lead to 44-43.
The visitors scored seven of the next eight points, however, to grab a 51-44 advantage with 30 seconds remaining. But the Trojans once again rallied back, as Darrin Dimmitt hit a 3 and Reid turned his second steal into two more points with 22 seconds remaining.
Davis County senior Park Mikels pushed his team’s lead back up to four points off a quick basket, and Calvin Utt iced the game in the final seconds with a free throw.
Mikels caused Fairfield problems throughout, scoring a game-high 29 points, with seven of those points coming in the game’s final four minutes.
“Mikels is a heck of a player and took it at us, and we struggled to adjust,” Miklo said. “We thought if we could keep him out of the lane and make him shoot tough shots, then we’d be okay. He made some tough shots but got way too many easy ones, and those are the ones we need to eliminate.”
Miklo said his team needed to improve its post play before they could contend going forward.
“That was an Achilles’ heel for us all night. We had times when we really thought we could have more success in the paint, and we didn’t have that consistently,” Miklo said. “We’ve got to get some consistency in the post, and until we do that we’re going to struggle sometimes.”
In the first half, Vince Horras scored the Trojans’ first five points to help them take a 5-4 lead midway through the first quarter. Landon Gamrath banked a shot in for Fairfield’s largest lead of the night at 7-4, but Mikels closed the quarter scoring eight straight points for Davis County.
Leading 12-9 after one, Davis County continued to build onto its lead with two quick buckets by Wyatt Garmon and Utt. Back-to-back 3s by Dimmitt and Hietpas kept Fairfield close in the period, and Horras scored the final four points in the first half to cut the Mustangs’ lead to 23-19.
The Trojans were unable to take the lead back in the third quarter, though twice they tied it up at 25-all and 27-all.
Fairfield’s Horras scored a team-high 12 points on 5 of 7 shooting. The junior also pulled in 12 rebounds, with four on the offensive glass, for his first career double-double. Peterman totaled 10 points with 4 of 5 shooting from the charity stripe and two blocks, Dimmitt scored nine and Hietpas netted six points to lead the Trojans.
Gamrath, Reid and Kyle Weirup all chipped in four points for Fairfield. Reid also had two steals. Dimmitt and Jordan Whitney successfully took two charges apiece.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak for Davis County, improving its overall record to 2-4. Fairfield dropped to 1-4 with the loss.
The Trojans were without junior starter Matt Carr, who was out nursing a head injury sustained in last Friday’s win over Washington. Miklo said he hopes for Carr’s return next Monday, when the Trojans (1-4, 1-1 SEC) host West Branch.
Fairfield @ Davis County
FAIRFIELD — 9 10 12 18 — 49
DAVIS COUNTY— 12 11 14 17 — 54
FAIRFIELD — Horras 5 2-6 12, Peterman 3 4-5 10, Dimmitt 3 1-2 9, Hietpas 2 0-0 6, Weirup 2 0-0 4, Gamrath 2 0-0 4, Reid 2 0-0 4, Whitney 0 0-0 0, Greiner 0 0-0 0, Totals 19 7-13 49
3-point goals — Dimmitt 2, Hietpas 2. Rebounds — Horras 12, Peterman 6, Hietpas 4, Dimmitt 3. Assists — Dimmitt 2, Hietpas 2, Horras 2. Steals — Reid 2, Whitney 1, Peterman 1, Weirup 1, Dimmitt 1. Blocks — Peterman 2, Gamrath 1, Horras 1.