Trojan basketball teams face talented matchups SaturdayCedar Rapids Kennedy and IMS await Fairfield
They may be traveling to different cities, but the Fairfield boys’ and girls’ basketball teams will both face a huge challenge Saturday.
The girls travel to Cedar Rapids Kennedy (12-4), which until earlier this week was ranked in the top 10 in Class 5A. Their dropping in rank was a result of the Cougars losing two games this past weekend. Two players on the team have already signed to play college basketball, and their starting lineup is flush with talent.
Senior guard Paige Hendrickson is a ball distributer and scores 11 points per game. Post threat Stephanie Botkin also averages 11 points per contest.
“I like the fact we are playing them [because this will] show us how to defend their double high post offense and different three-four court presses,” Fairfield coach Mick Flattery said. “[These are] schemes we haven’t seen yet this year.”
Saturday will be an opportunity for the Trojans to start building a solid road record. Fairfield has only one home game left, and that’s against Southeast Conference foe Keokuk. Fairfield is 8-2 at home, but just 1-5 on the road this season, with its last road win coming on Nov. 30 against Waterloo West. Counting this Saturday’s trip, four of their last five games won’t be played at Fairfield High School.
“We need to find ways to win more on the road so going to Washington for the first round won’t be like we haven’t won on the road in a long time,” Flattery said. “Road wins before Washington will help build our confidence.”
The Fairfield boys travel to Kalona to play IMS Saturday. IMS (13-2) has only lost to Washington and Pekin this season. A rematch with Pekin will take place tonight.
Fairfield (8-7) didn’t play IMS last season. The real question is whether or not IMS can beat a team that plays in a higher class. Senior Dallas Nye, who averages 15 points per game, will lead IMS.
“IMS has a great record and a tradition of excellence in basketball,” Fairfield boys’ coach Tyler Miklo said. “They are very disciplined, and they have very good guards and will get after you [in the] full court.”
The Trojans play five more games after this one, and all of them are at home. With Southeast Conference matchups still to come, it’s important for Fairfield (4-3 on the road this season) to wrap up their road contests with a win.
“Every game from now until the end of the season we expect to be difficult,” Miklo said, “but our guys are ready for the challenge and we hope to be playing our best basketball throughout February.”