Trojan girls fall to Washington, Pella over weekend
The portion of this article covering the game between Washington and Fairfield was written by Washington Journal sports editor Hunter Tickel.
Washington and Fairfield had mirroring styles in Friday’s contest. However, it was the execution from the Demons girls’ basketball team that made the difference.
An 11-3 run to close the first half stretched a two point lead to 10 en route to a Washington 54-43 win.
The closest Fairfield got the rest of the way was within seven points.
Both teams had a lot of depth and both instilled a full-court press, but it was Washington that wore down the Trojans.
“Their depth outplayed our depth,” said Fairfield coach Mick Flattery.
Washington senior Grace Redlinger had seven first-half points before finishing with a game-high 13. She had nine rebounds, four assists and five steals.
Washington made 22-32 free throws at a 68 percent clip, its best mark of the season.
“It’s like we shoot them in practice for a change,” Washington coach Phil Long said. “We make a lot of them in practice in our free throw shooting drills. When kids see other kids step up and make them, it is contagious. We haven’t had a team average 68 percent in three or four years.”
The Trojans shot 55 percent from the charity stripe.
“Anytime you lose is tough,” Flattery said. “We didn’t shoot the ball very well and missed a lot of free throws.”
Flattery pointed out that his team only had seven deflections and five steals, which were proof his team wasn’t active defensively.
“What did (the loss) end up being — 10 or 11?” Flattery asked. “It felt like 40.”
Fairfield senior Hanna Greiner led her team with 12 points and nine boards.
Sophomore McKenna Leger was second on the team with six rebounds.
Fairfield junior Mackenzie McClure had 8 points, as the second leading scorer.
Washington senior guard Dema Giardino was the only other player in double figures with 12 points.
Washington guard Stephanie Fishback led her squad with 11 rebounds and seven steals.
Junior Sydney Hoffman had seven rebounds. The Demons had nine players on the score sheet.
Washington had a season-low 14 turnovers.
It was Washington’s most complete effort of the season defensively. The Trojans had just 20 points at the 4:10 mark of the third quarter.
“I think it was (our best defensive effort) ,” Redlinger said. “We played defense correctly, exactly how he wanted us to. We all stepped it up.”
Fairfield was fresh off a 49-46 overtime loss in the conference opener last Friday.
Both coaches agreed the conference is very balanced and that road wins will be hard to come by.
“In conference you got to win all of them at home and half of them on the road,” Long said. “Any one of the five teams have a chance to win this. Usually there are one or two dogs, but this year all teams are proven.”
The Panthers may have been a slight favorite in the preseason, but results have shown that is going to be a small gap.
“On paper Mt. Pleasant has a lot of seniors,” Flattery said. “They have a lot of players coming back. It is anybody’s game. If you can steal a game on the road, that would be very helpful.”
Fairfield vs. Pella
Fairfield had No. 15 ranked Pella on the ropes.
The Trojans just could never put them away. The Lady Dutch outlasted Fairfield and left the gym with a 62-58 overtime win.
The girls began the game with six unanswered points, which forced Pella coach Jerod Garland to call a timeout and regroup. The Trojans held the halftime lead of 30-25.
Pella (4-2) began its comeback in the third quarter by outscoring Fairfield 14-7 during the frame. The fourth quarter went back and forth. Pella would score only to see Fairfield match every basket on the other end.
The score was 50-50 with 30.9 seconds on the clock. Tense moments followed, and a late Fairfield turnover wound up not coming into play. The game was soon in overtime, where the Lady Dutch found a way to outlast the Trojans.
“It was the first game where all of our starters played well,” Fairfield coach Mick Flattery said. “Our free throw shooting was good and we only had 14 turnovers.”
The Lady Dutch pushed out to a 57-50 lead to begin overtime. Three-pointers from Marisa Repp and Mackenzie Flattery kept the Trojans within striking distance. Pella freshman Katie Vander Molen hit two free throws at the end to give her team the win.
Sami Fritz led Fairfield with 12 points, which included two important free throws that tied up the score late in the game. Hanna Greiner scored 10 points and led the squad with 12 rebounds. Repp and Flattery each scored 11 points.
The Trojans (4-4) host Davis County Tuesday.