Fritz scores 52 points in Waterloo
WATERLOO – The Trojan girls’ basketball team traveled to Waterloo over the weekend where it got to play 5A teams from both sides of town.
Fairfield’s first test was against Waterloo East on Friday, a test it passed without breaking a sweat. The Trojans of Fairfield defeated the Trojans of Waterloo East 68-39. The following day’s game was against a much tougher opponent in Waterloo West. The Wahawks surged to a huge lead, which the Trojans were able to trim but ultimately could not overcome as they fell 64-58.
FAIRFIELD 68, WATERLOO-EAST 39
Waterloo-East hung around in this game for a short while, trailing only 13-10 after one quarter, but before long it became apparent that one group of Trojans was going to run circles around the other. In the next three quarters, Fairfield outscored its opponent 14-8, 21-8 and 20-13, respectively.
Sami Fritz had one of the most complete games of her career as she scored a staggering 27 points on 8-18 shooting, including 2-6 from beyond the arc. Fritz had everything working for her that day, not just her shot from the floor but a smooth touch from the free-throw line as well, going 9-11. She cleaned up her opponents’ misses and some from her own teammates’ as she led the squad in rebounding with 11. When the defense was keying on her, she found open teammates for a basket four times. She was active in the passing lanes, too, picking up five steals while only being called for one foul.
There was a question mark hanging over Nicole Buch, the team’s leading scorer who injured her ankle during a game earlier in the week against Mid-Prairie. If Buch was still ailing, she did not let it affect her performance as she collected 11 points on 3-6 shooting. She shined as a playmaker and distributor as she dished out nine assists. She also had five steals, four rebounds and went 5-6 from the free-throw line.
Mikaela Lunsford had an efficient day as she went 3-5 from the floor, 1-1 from downtown and 3-4 from the charity stripe to finish with 10 points. She had three rebounds and three steals. Brynna Bowman was not in the starting lineup but made her presence felt off the bench. Bowman went 3-6 from the field to score eight points while racking up four rebounds and two assists. Brooke McLain had a solid line, too, going 3-7 shooting (1-2 from three-point range) to end up with seven points and three boards.
Kylie Kurtz took only three shots, all threes, and made one. She had two rebounds and three steals. Ashley Bloomquist had three points and four rebounds. Kara Jeffrey had two points and a steal. Kailey Kaska had one point.
Fairfield finished the game with good numbers in a few key categories. The team was 21-29 (72 percent) from the free-throw line and had 16 assists on 23 made baskets (70 percent), which showed they shared the ball well.
WATERLOO WEST 64, FAIRFIELD 58
Waterloo was a tale of two cities for the Trojans. Fairfield handled the school from the east side of town with ease, but the squad from the west end proved to be a different story. Fairfield got out to a 12-10 lead after one quarter, but that slim lead turned into a double-digit deficit as the Wahawks outscored their guests 20-7 to take a 30-19 lead.
“The second quarter was our downfall,” lamented Trojan head coach Mick Flattery.
In the first half, Fairfield shot only 6-13 from the free-throw line while turning the ball over 21 times.
“That has not been something that we had been doing,” said the coach.
The Wahawks extended their lead to 49-34 in the third quarter, and it looked like the Trojans were dead in the water. At one point, Waterloo West led by as many as 19 points. The Trojans did not give up, though, and chipped away at the deficit until it was down to a single possession.
With two minutes remaining, the Wahawks had seen their mighty advantage crumble to just a three-point edge 55-52. Fairfield had spent so much energy making that run that the girls just didn’t have enough left in the tank as Waterloo West emerged victorious, 64-58.
Flattery said the second half was like a different ballgame. The team missed only one free throw and committed only six turnovers in a game where both teams employed a full-court press.
“Aliyah Robinson was terrific for them, scoring 29 points and making a couple of Euro moves at the end when she was heavily guarded,” he said.
Fritz followed Friday’s stat-stuffing performance with another show-stopper as she made 10 of the 14 shots she took (2-3 from distance) to finish with 25 points. She was 3-4 from the free-throw line, had eight rebounds and three steals. Bloomquist played several minutes off the bench and collected eight points on 2-3 shooting (1-2 from long range) to go with two assists. Buch scored eight points while raking in three rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Lunsford made her only two field goal attempts and was a perfect 3-3 at the free-throw line. She finished with seven points and team highs in rebounds (10) and assists (seven). Kurtz and Bowman each scored five points. Bowman was 2-3 from the floor (1-2 from deep). Kurtz had five rebounds, three assists and one steal.
The Trojans finished shooting 20-39 (51 percent) for the game, including 6-15 (40 percent) from long range. Nineteen of their 20 made baskets were assisted (95 percent).
Fairfield’s record stands at 2-1 overall. Its next game is tonight at Oskaloosa. The girls’ game tips at 6 p.m. and the boys’ game follows at 7:45 p.m.