Trojan basketball prepares for AlbiaBoys, girls teams to face Blue Demons
The Albia and Fairfield boys’ basketball teams are both unbeaten.
The Trojans started off 0-3 last season, but Tyler Miklo’s team has a new beat in its step in 2013. After a convincing win over Oskaloosa and Fairfield’s first victory over Mount Pleasant since the 2007-08 season, the Trojans are eyeing a 3-0 start tonight when they host Albia.
“Our goal is just continue to try and improve,” Miklo said. “We have some momentum and we want it to continue, but we will have to play our best game of the year to this point in order to win tonight.”
The Blue Demons are 2-0 after wins over Knoxville and Missouri foe Clark County. Albia went 13-10 last season and defeated the Trojans 57-48. Fairfield will key on guard Matt Baker, who averaged 19 points a game last year and scored 26 against the Trojans. Albia went 12-1 in football this past season, and many of the basketball players, including Baker and Ryan Sarver, were prominently featured on the football team.
“They have a number of returning players and they are all the same kids that led them to the dome in football, so you know what type of athletes they are,” Miklo said.
Fairfield’s strength may be its height. Forward Vince Horras and 6-foot-9-inch center Landon Gamrath will again be taller than their counterparts, meaning the Trojans may benefit from feeding the big men inside the basketball.
The Albia girls’ basketball team went 4-18 last season, yet the Blue Demons have started the 2013-14 campaign with the record of 3-1. Their wins include defeating Cardinal on the road and a come from behind victory over Knoxville. Fairfield was able to beat Albia 47-45 last season.
Seniors Brooke Bettis and Katie Dyson are both more than 6-feet tall and play inside. They will likely match up with Fairfield’s Hanna Greiner and McKenna Ledger down low. Senior Cassie Crall and juniors Mackenzie Griffin and Sarah Clark will all get plenty of playing time against the Trojans as well.
Fairfield Coach Mick Flattery is hoping his team can rebound more efficiently after the Trojans were out-rebounded 50-28 Friday in Mount Pleasant. Flattery also will be looking for his team to hit free throws.
“Free throw shooting has been OK, but we could have won Friday if we had shot better than 12-22 since we outscored Mt. Pleasant from the field,” Flattery said. “So we have to knock down free throws.”
The amount of defensive pressure Fairfield can place on Albia will be important as well. The Trojans comeback against Mt. Pleasant was assisted by the 29 turnovers they forced the Panthers to commit.