The Fairfield boys’ basketball team lost to non-conference rival Pella 50-37 Tuesday night in Marion County.
Senior Cole Engle blocked the Little Dutch’s first field goal attempt of the game, but the home team was able to retain possession and hit a 3-point attempt just :25 into the contest for an early lead they would never relinquish. The first successful basket for Fairfield came with 4:47 on the clock when senior Tristin Waugh layed in two points to cut the deficit to 5-2. Senior Collin Breen added a free throw to make it 11-3 in favor of the Green and White and the first eight minutes ended with a 13-3 advantage for Pella with Fairfield having committed 10 turnovers and converting 1-6 foul shots. Frustrations that head coach Mick Flattery sarcastically called, “a recipe for success. This is the second straight game coming out very slow with not much energy.” added Flattery. “Obviously, pregame management needs looked at.”
Junior Drew Martin scored his first basket when he converted a lay up off the glass, before stealing the ball and drawing two defenders to his person before dumping the ball down low to Carson Crile who was fouled. Poor foul-shooting continued for Fairfield with the senior missing both attempts before Austin Simpson got his own rebound and put back two points with 3:55 in the half to cut the Pella lead to 19-7. Waugh scored the final basket for the Trojans with 3:10 remaining in the second, but Pella only scored three more points themselves for a 24-9 halftime lead.
“We average 10 turnovers so far on the year per game,” said Flattery. “We had 13 at the half; fumbling, dribbling in traffic, home run passes. All correctable, but unusual for us.”
Fairfield went on a 6-0 run in the first two minutes before Pella nailed a 3-pointer that pushed their edge back to an even dozen. The Little Dutch called a time out with 2:10 remaining in the quarter and the Trojans trailing by just seven, 31-24. The period ended with the visitors trailing 35-26.
After Pella stretched their advantage back to double digits consistently, Fairfield called time outs with 7:10 left in the game down 38-28 and with 3:05 remaining trailing 44-34 before the 50-37 final was recorded.
“I thought the second half was much more like the team I see at practice,” said the Trojan leader. “Aggressive, smart shot-selection and tough defensively. Overall, I can’t complain too much about our defensive effort. Pella’s offensive average is in the 70s and Setterly is coming off back to back 30-point outings. (10 Tuesday) We have to get things figured out quickly with a very good Iowa City Liberty team coming in Saturday afternoon.
Collin Breen nine points; Tristin Waugh nine points, six rebounds, two assists and steals; Austin Simpson eight points, five rebounds and two steals; Drew Martin eight points, five rebounds and two steals; Carson Crile two points and six rebounds; Cole Engle one point and four rebounds.
The boys are now 3-2 overall and 2-0 in Southeast Conference play with the boys of Troy hosting the Lightning Saturday afternoon at approximately 2:30 p.m., following the girls game which tips off at 1 p.m.