Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 17, 2017

Ottumwa ballers too much for Fairfield boys

By Justin Webster | Dec 06, 2017
Photo by: JUSTIN WEBSTER/Ledger photo Junior Austin Simpson “hits one out of the park” during player introductions Tuesday night before the Trojans hosted the Ottumwa Bulldogs in a non-SEC matchup of area teams.

The Fairfield boys’ basketball team fell at home to Ottumwa 65-54 Tuesday night.

The Bulldogs Andrew Curran started sharp-shooting early on against the Trojans, ending the night with 33 points and stifling many Fairfield comeback attempts.

The trouble started early offensively for Coach Flattery’s crew, trailing by 11 before they made it to the foul line for their first two points.

An Austin Simpson spin and hook in the paint cut the deficit to 20-9 with :40 remaining in the first period and Fairfield seemed to be gaining momentum, but Ottumwa answered with an immediate long-range three, extending the lead back out to 23-9 as the first eight minutes ended.

Simpson kept pounding inside, and with 2:11 remaining in the second, hit an and-1, with the foul shot cutting the Trojan deficit to 29-25. 48 seconds later, Simpson bulldozed his way inside for another and-1 opportunity, but failed to convert the free throw, leaving the difference at 32-27, with Ottumwa adding a basket before the buzzer for a 34-27 halftime lead.

A quick third quarter left Fairfield still trailing 48-37, and unable to shrink the deficit, the Trojans started launching three-pointers, which allowed Ottumwa to keep the Trojans at a distance, with each team scoring 17 points in the final period.

Following the loss, Coach Flattery said, “We have gotten ourselves down double digits early, dug ourselves a hole.” He continued, “I like how hard our guys work to cut the deficit below double digits, because we could easily give up. Takes a lot out of us. We need to then get stops on defense, take high percentage shots, etc.”

Simpson led the Trojans with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Tristin Waugh added 11 points and five rebounds to go with two assists, and Carson Crile accumulated 10 points and seven boards over the 32-minute ballgame.

Up next for Fairfield is a Friday night road trip to SEC rival Washington.

Coach Flattery admits that “We will look at tweaking certain things on both sides of the ball,” going into Friday’s matchup.

The boys will tip-off at approximately 7:30 p.m., following the conclusion of the girls’ varsity contest.

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