Keokuk ousts Fairfield boys from postseason
KEOKUK — Despite two regular season losses to Keokuk, Fairfield boys’ basketball coach Tyler Miklo expected his team to hang with the host Chiefs in the opening round of Class 3A District 10 action Monday.
And although his team did hang around in the first half, turnovers and rushed shots ended up costing the Trojans in the second half en route to a season-ending, 65-40 loss.
Fairfield trailed 30-22 at the half, but Keokuk pulled away with runs in each of the final two quarters. The Chiefs out-scored Fairfield 35-18 after halftime.
With the win, Keokuk (16-6) advances to the district final to face Solon (18-4), which topped Washington 58-40 in the other District 10 opener Monday.
Fairfield finishes the season with a 4-18 record overall.
“We went in with every expectation we’d come out with a win. There’s no doubt the guys are disappointed with where the season ended,” Miklo said.
The game didn’t always appear to be headed toward such a result, though, as the Trojans quickly gained a 5-0 lead at the start.
Fairfield senior Spencer Peterman opened the game with a 2, and Matt Carr connected from beyond the 3-point arc to pad onto the lead. Kendall Clark scored three straight buckets for Keokuk to close the gap to 7-6, and the Chiefs ended the period emphatically with a 10-3 run.
Keokuk immediately upped its lead to 26-10 at the start of the second period, but the Trojans would answer with a run of their own.
Fairfield freshman Jordan Reid nailed a 3 to cut the lead to 28-13, and baskets by Peterman and Darrin Dimmitt whittled the deficit to 28-18. Reid then made back-to-back baskets by the 1:30 mark to bring Fairfield within 28-22.
“Jordan gave us a real spark. He brought a lot of energy,” said Miklo. “That’s great to see, and I think guys were feeding off that for a while.”
Keokuk and Fairfield traded baskets out of the break, with Peterman scoring two straight buckets. Keokuk upped its lead to 39-26 with 4:50 left in the third, and a bundle of turnovers by Fairfield in the quarter’s second half resulted in a 50-32 lead for the host team after three.
“We played hard for two and a half quarters, then toward the end of the third quarter we kind of imploded a little bit. We made some uncharacteristic mistakes,” said Miklo. “We rushed shots and turned the ball over, and that’s a recipe for a tough game when you do those things together.”
Keokuk put the game away for good in the final quarter, out-scoring Fairfield 15-8.
“We got some decent looks, but the shots weren’t falling. When that’s happening we need to then turn up the defense, and we didn’t do that tonight,” Miklo added.
Keokuk received 15 points apiece from Dan Williams and Jonny Dahl. Both Chiefs scored eight points each in the second half.
Peterman recorded a double-double in his final game as a Trojan, scoring 12 points and pulling down 11 boards. Reid scored nine points and Vince Horras had eight points and five boards. Carr scored four and Dimmitt tacked on three points.
Miklo said the loss was an unfortunate end for a great group of seniors which included Peterman, Dimmitt, Kyle Weirup and Jacob Greiner.
“The four seniors have been hard workers. They’ve just been great people on and off the court, and we hope the underclassmen watched how they carried themselves,” said Miklo, who added the sky’s the limit for the returning group of boys, with one caveat.
“We’re excited for the future if — and this is a big if — the guys are willing to put in the time in the offseason,” he said. “We think this is a team that can challenge for the conference and a state tournament bid a year from now, and now we just have to put in the effort.”
Class 3A District 10 First Round
Fairfield @ Keokuk
FAIRFIELD — 10 12 10 8 — 40
KEOKUK — 16 14 20 15 — 65
FAIRFIELD — Peterman 5 2-2 12, Reid 4 0-0 9, Horras 3 2-5 8, Carr 1 1-2 4, Dimmitt 1 0-0 3, Hietpas 1 0-0 2, Weirup 0 2-2 2, Whitney 0 0-0 0, Greiner 0 0-0 0, Totals 15 7-13 40.
3-point goals — Carr, Dimmitt, Reid. Rebounds — Peterman 11, Horras 5, Carr 3. Assists — Peterman 2, Dimmitt 2. Steals — Peterman 2, Dimmitt 2. Blocks — Peterman, Horras.