Trojans blast Ottumwa in season opener
OTTUMWA — It had been a while since the Trojan girls had won a season opener, and it had been even longer since they’d beaten Ottumwa.
On Tuesday, the Trojans accomplished both feats — in Ottumwa, no less — with one of their biggest wins in years: a 48-31 statement victory over the Bulldogs.
The Trojans (1-0) scored the first seven points in the contest and never trailed. The visitors held Ottumwa to just two points in the first quarter, led 19-12 at halftime, then scored 21 in the final period to pull away from the Bulldogs.
“It was a great win for our gals. They’ve been working their tails off and their chemistry is just terrific,” said second-year head coach Mick Flattery. “The senior class had never beaten Ottumwa, and it gives the entire team great confidence to pull out a win against a Class 5A school.”
Last year the Bulldogs beat Fairfield 68-51, but this year’s game had a much different feel.
After taking a seven-point lead into the locker room at halftime, the Trojans out-scored the Bulldogs 8-7 in the third quarter to go up 27-19. Ottumwa cut the lead to 30-25 at the start of the fourth period, but Fairfield buried the Bulldogs with an 18-6 run in the final six minutes.
Flattery contributed much of the game-clinching run to his players’ clutch free throw shooting. The Trojans knocked down 11 of 18 free throws in the second half and went 15-for-23 from the charity stripe total. Juniors Hanna Greiner and Sydney Burnett went a combined 10-for-10 from the line, and senior Sidney Baumann was 3-for-4.
“We kept a positive attitude and kept our composure when they made a run at us,” Flattery said. “The hustle and the energy the girls showed was just terrific, and we were in attack mode both offensively and defensively.”
Baumann kept the Bulldog defense off-balance throughout the game and led all scorers with 16 points on 50 percent shooting from the field. Baumann also finished with seven boards and three steals. Greiner had 12 points and seven boards, while Marisa Repp filled up her stat line with nine points, six boards, four steals and three assists.
Also for Fairfield, Brittany Kurtz scored six points and Burnett netted four. Miranda Metcalf pulled down five rebounds and McKenna Ledger had one board.
The Trojans were also tough on defense, forcing 16 turnovers in the first half and not letting up until the final buzzer sounded.
Fairfield will be off for Thanksgiving break, but Flattery said he looks for his players to keep their momentum going into their next game at Oskaloosa on Monday.
Fairfield @ Ottumwa
FAIRFIELD — 10 9 8 21 — 48
OTTUMWA — 2 10 7 12 — 31
FAIRFIELD — Baumann 16, Greiner 12, Repp 9, Kurtz 6, Burnett 4, Totals 16 FG/48 points
3-point goals — Baumann 1. Rebounds — Baumann 7, Greiner 7, Repp 6, Metcalf 5, Ledger 1. Assists — Repp 3. Steals — Repp 4, Baumann 3, Greiner 2.