Trojans defeated by Knoxville
OSKALOOSA — The 2017-18 basketball season began for head coach Tyler Miklo and his Fairfield Trojans at 7:50 p.m. on Monday night.
The Trojans were walking into the locker room at Oskaloosa High School after falling to Knoxville in Round 1 of the 2016-17 postseason.
“I did start thinking of next year because this is a good group of guys,” Miklo said. “If our guys leave here hungry, then tonight is not a total loss. I’m proud of our guys for not quitting tonight. Now, I’m hoping our guys will put the time in and get better.”
On Thursday, in the regular-season finale, Fairfield defeated visiting Knoxville, 47-43.
On Monday, the only thing the Knoxville Panther players missed was their eighth-period classes so they could get to the game on time.
They didn’t miss shots.
“They hit shots all game,” said Trojan post Carson Crile. “Give them credit. We couldn’t stop them from hitting their shots. They didn’t miss.”
The Panthers led 17-12 after one quarter, 35-28 at halftime, 63-38 after three quarters and ultimately won 68-45.
Knoxville (16-7) hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter, three in the second and six in the third.
“We knew they were a good shooting team,” Miklo said. “They just didn’t hit as many shots when we played them last week. Tonight, we went into the locker room down seven and cut it to five right away. Then we got a charge call, the lead got to 14 — and then they starting hitting everything.”
Fairfield started five underclassmen: Crile, forwards Tristin Waugh and Collin Breen and guards Dante Cingire and James Lyman.
Crile scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
“It’s huge what Carson is able to do for us with his scoring and rebounding,” Cingire said.
Cingire assisted on Fairfield’s first three field goals and ended the contest with a game-high eight. Four of his assists were to Crile.
“Dante likes to break down his defender and I like to fan out,” Crile explained. “And then when my defender helps, I go straight to the basket for layups.”
Cingire also scored six points, grabbed five boards and made two steals.
As for his eight assists, Cingire said, “I need to keep everyone involved so we can play good team basketball. We don’t want a no-pass offense. I can score but it’s better to find my teammates.”
Lyman hit three treys and scored 10 points. Waugh scored six points and Breen five.
Also for Fairfield (9-12), Cole Engle scored two points and grabbed two boards, Aaron Haines scored a point, Brittan Bowman had a rebound and senior Kyle Roberts had three boards.
Roberts was the sole senior on the 2016-17 Trojans.
“We’ll sure miss Kyle and everything he brought to our team,” Miklo said. “We’re grateful to him. He brought a lot of toughness to our squad.”
This season, the Trojans were a respectable 4-4 in Southeast Conference action.
“We have a young team,” Crile said. “We’ll come back strong. We’ll get in the gym often and get better at what we do.”
Cingire concurred: Offseason work is key.
“We must all work together in the offseason,” he said. “I will watch a lot of film, too. What did we do good? What was bad? Let’s get better. We know we can get better.”