Courier Staff Writer
Turnovers plagued the Ottumwa girls team in its season opener as the Bulldogs fell to Fairfield 48-31 Tuesday at Evans Middle School.
“I think we really need to limit our turnovers and probably run the offense a lot more,” Megan Black, who led the Bulldogs with nine points,” said.
The Trojan press defense really bothered Ottumwa throughout the contest and prevented the Bulldogs from putting together any sustained runs — Ottumwa committed 16 turnovers in the first half. Ottumwa did have some offensive surges, but they were fleeting.
“We were under panic and under pressure,” Alexis Winn said.
Fairfield guard Sidney Baumann took control of the game early, scoring seven of the Trojans’ first 10 points. Baumann’s play coupled with Ottumwa’s turnovers helped the Trojans jump out to an early 10-2 lead.
Junior Megan Black finally got things going for Ottumwa offensively, knocking down a short jumper off a fast break and banking in a 3-pointer from the top of the key. When halftime arrived, the Bulldogs trailed 19-10. Ottumwa trimmed Fairfield’s lead to 21-17 in the third after Hayli Beeson buried 3-pointer, but Fairfield refocused and extended its lead to 27-19 by the end of the quarter.
The Trojans’ lead grew to 13 before Black finished a fast break with a left-handed layup while drawing contact from a defender. But her free throw was off the mark, and the Trojans quickly pushed the ball up court and Brittany Kurtz finished the possession with a short jumper that extended her team’s lead to 40-29 with 3:13 left. The Trojans, and Hanna Greiner in particular, dominated the offensive boards the toward the end of the contest as the Bulldogs really struggled to come up with a rebound.
Baumann led all scorers with 17 points, and Greiner added 12.
Despite Ottumwa’s rebounding and turnover woes, there were a couple of positives that the Bulldogs could take from the contest. Aside from leading Ottumwa scoring, Black also had a team-high four steals. Senior Sydney Strunk also gave Ottumwa some solid play despite getting into some foul trouble early. She was 4-4 from the foul line and nailed a pretty jumper from the left baseline. In addition, Strunk had some nice feeds inside, although the Bulldogs did not always turn her passes into buckets. She finished with eight points. Another bright spot for Ottumwa was Devin Leffler, who provided Ottumwa with six rebounds off the bench.
Fairfield (1-0) plays at Oskaloosa Monday. Ottumwa (0-1) plays Washington Saturday.
Fairfield 48, Ott 31
Fair 10 19 27 — 48
Ott 3 12 19 — 31
Fair (48) — 15FG 15-23 48. Totals: Sidney Baumann 17, Hanna Greiner 12, Marisa Repp 9, Brittany Kurtz 6, Sydney Burnett 4.
3-point goals — 1 (Baumann). Fouled out — Kurtz. Rebounds — 22. Assists — 4. Steals — 10. Blocks — 2. Total fouls — 17.
Ott (31) — . Totals 9 FG 31. Megan Black 9, Sydney Strunk 8, Olivia Roark 6, Alexis Winn 5, Hayli Beeson 3.
3-point goals — 2 (Hayli Beeson, Black). Fouled out — Black. Rebounds — 18 (Devin Leffler 8). Steals — 9 (Black 4). Blocks — 2 (Rachel Zingg, Black). Total fouls — 18.