Trojan boys defeat Oskaloosa to begin basketball season
It’s a new season, and it definitely shows.
Last season, the Trojans were thumped 46-31 by an Oskaloosa team that would only win three games all season. Fairfield returned the favor Monday with a 58-49 win. It was exactly what Fairfield coach Tyler Miklo expected to see out of his players.
“It was a typical first game,” Miklo said. “It was sloppy on both ends, but I’m very thrilled with the way the guys competed.”
Fairfield’s first offensive possession went inside to the 6-foot-9-inch Landon Gamrath, who put in the first score of the game. Oskaloosa couldn’t handle Gamrath’s size under the basket, resulting in the senior going 7-10 from the field with 14 points.
“It’s pretty much exactly what I hoped to do,” Gamrath said.
Miklo made an effort to get as many players in rhythm as possible. Within the first six minutes of the game 10 Trojans had seen playing time. The game was tied 18-18 by the half. Senior Matt Carr had six points in the first half off the bench. Carr wound up dropping 13 points on the night, including a smooth drive and lay up during the third quarter.
“Matt is a guy who started all of last year,” Miklo said. “He has a bum ankle so we’re trying to bring him back slowly, but he was hard to keep on the bench tonight. He’s trying to be a leader and these seniors think this could be a really good season.”
Fairfield could never completely pull away from Oskaloosa. Junior Ryan Reiter had 27 points for the Indians, and may have been the sole reason why Oskaloosa was still in the game with a minute to go.
Reiter got Fairfield senior Vince Horras in foul trouble early. Horras, along with newcomer Federico Ferretti, each fouled out. Miklo thinks his players will get smarter when it comes to fouls as the season progresses.
“Vince had a couple of fouls that were close calls,” Miklo said. “We have to learn how to make better decisions. Vince is a smart kid and we’ll be fine in that area.”
Five points from Ferretti and two Jordan Whitney free throws late in the fourth quarter helped seal the win for the Trojans. Ferretti finished with 10 points and the squad’s only steal.
“Our guys kept their composure and I thought did a great job of closing out the game,” Miklo said.
Fairfield hosts Mount Pleasant on Friday. The Panthers play their first game of the season today against Xavier, Cedar Rapids. Fairfield’s conference foe swept the season series last season.