Strong defense gives Fairfield girls conference winTrojans down Panthers 46-31
Taylor Ferrel picked herself off the court after nearly crashing into the bleachers.
The pass she deflected sailed out of bounds, but it disrupted the flow of the opponent. This was one of many defensive plays made Friday by Fairfield that frustrated the Mt. Pleasant Panthers. Ferrel, along with Mikaela Lunsford and Karley Williams, came off the bench to deliver defense and quality minutes for the Trojans, which is just one of the reasons Fairfield defeated Mt. Pleasant 46-31.
“Taylor Ferrel and Mikaela Lunsford led us off the bench with their rebounding, deflections and energy levels,” Fairfield coach Mick Flattery said. “The girls played very good defense throughout the night.”
No. 15 Mt. Pleasant (8-4, 4-1 SEC) averaged 51 points per game prior to playing Fairfield, and scored 49 in their victory over the Trojans Dec. 6. Taryne Shull led the Panthers with 10 points, three steals and eight rebounds. She was also one of five Mt. Pleasant players to foul out of the game. The Panthers struggled with fouling the entire evening.
“They were really aggressive and they did a good job,” Mt. Pleasant coach Joanna Settles said. “[Sami] Fritz and [Mackenzie] Flattery did a good job of leading the defense.”
Natalie Ita scored seven points for the Panthers. Natalie Myers and Hannah Becker each scored five. With the exception of the loss to Eddyville-Blakesburg, Fairfield (8-6, 2-3 SEC) has only given up fewer than 40 points the last four games.
“We call it fist defense when you pretty much don’t let a girl get the ball,” Mackenzie Flattery said. “That wasn’t our plan though. We just wanted to come out and play hard.”
Mackenzie Flattery scored 15 points to lead the Trojans.
“It was a really on night for me, and I’m glad I was able to make those shots,” she said.
Fritz was second on the squad with 10 points. Starting senior Marisa Repp and Lunsford each scored eight points.
Fairfield led 28-16 at halftime. Mt. Pleasant pulled within 10 during the third quarter, but Mackenzie Flattery hit one of her four three-pointers on the night to stop the rally. The Trojans would not relinquish their steady lead for the rest of the contest.
“Mt. Pleasant has been hot all year long and we knew we needed to have a concentrated effort out of all of us to get the job done,” Mick Flattery said.
Mt. Pleasant turned around Saturday and defeated Mediapolis. Keokuk will travel Friday to face the Panthers. Fairfield hosts Washington Friday.