The eighth-seeded Fairfield girls? basketball team is 19-4 and will play in their first state tournament since 1990 Monday night when they tipoff against Class 4A?s No. 1 seed Marion at 6:45 p.m. inside Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. The Ledger spoke with several members of the current team after thir historic win over defending champion North Scott.
How can you and Malory [Jones] get properly jacked up before the game? Do you two need to head-butt?
A) *laughing* Usually when they do the pre-game introductions we get together and do our little thing and then during timeouts we get together. We?re close and we work together well, I guess.
Thoughts after the game ended?
A) It was just a whole roller-coaster full of emotions from what we had all found out earlier. We were so happy that we did it and we had said we had done it for him.
*The team had found out earlier in the day that their classmate, senior Darren J. Roberts had passed away.
What do you need to do to be dominant down-low?
A) Kara and I make sure we are helping each other on back-side defense if we are fronting a girl and just have to read each other and work together.
Talk about the success of the current junior class.
A) It?s so much fun because every sport we?re all together. Most of the time there?s atleast three juniors on each team in every sport and it?s fun because we?ve been doing it for so long with each other that it just makes everything more fun. We dreamed about doing these things when we were younger and now we are doing it.
Q) Is the junior class the best class in a while?
A) I?d say so.
Talk about winning for your senior sister Ashtyn.
A) It?s really a cool bond that we get to build playing together in most of the sports have. It?s cool that we?ve been able to go to state now three times together.
What are you doing to prepare for Monday?
A) I?m pretty sure that the people scouting us know we are shooters, so we have to focus on finding open shots and driving to the basket when it?s not there. Defensively, we have to shut down their shooters.
This is what you?ve been playing for right?
A) Yes. It?s huge for us. The emotions the other night are undescribeable but it was one of the greatest feelings.
You?ve had a great year, you set the scoring record and now you?re going to state. What?s left?
A) The end goal is that state title. A lot of people are still doubting us since we drew No. 1 Marion in the first game, but I think our team and our coaches are very confident and know that anything can happen. We?re ready to play now honestly.
Talk about finally getting Fairfield back to the state tournament.
A) The emotions were everywhere and we had a lot of our fans and the community there to support us. It?s crazy and hasn?t sunk in yet until I start playing on that floor.
How do you avoid a slow start to the game with all of the excitement?
A) We?re just going to do our same routine and we aren?t nervous at all. We?re playing our best basketball and we?re just going to go out and play Monday night.
What did you say to your grandpa Leonard when you called from the court Tuesday night?
A) That we are going to state and you could hear the excitement in his voice. He?ll be making the trip to Des Moines and we are all excited about it.
Are you getting ready for Marion or working on you?
A) We?re working on us. All year long we haven?t worried about who we are playing, we are just trying to get better everyday. We do look at our opponent to see where we can be successful in that game.
Does it help to be the underdog?
A) Yeah, at this point in the season it doesn?t matter who we play. These girls are not ready for this to be over. Riding with them tonight, they verbally said they are ready. We are in the right mindset and are ready to knock off the top seed.