FAIRFIELD — Monday night, in the season opener for both boys basketball teams, Fairfield and Oskaloosa played a dead-even, low-scoring first half tied 18-18.
The scoring picked up for both squads in the third quarter, but the Trojans used a key 8-0 run to build a lead they turned into a 58-49 season-opening win over the Indians.
Each team's leading scorer got the game started. Landon Gamrath scored for Fairfield before Ryan Reiter quickly tied it with two free throws. Gamrath, with 14 points, led three Trojans with double figures. Reiter had 27 for the Indians to lead all scorers.
Federico Ferretti, who scored 10 points for Fairfield, hit a 3-pointer to give the Trojans the lead. That trey was followed by two from Reiter for an 8-5 Indian lead.
The quarter would close with Oskaloosa up 10-9.
Two early baskets by Matt Carr in the second gave the Trojans a 15-13 lead. Reiter, who had eight of his 27 points in the opening quarter, went scoreless in the second quarter and the Indians struggled with a single basket and six free throws, but still were tied with Fairfield at the half.
Gamrath and Reiter traded baskets to open the final half. Each would go on to have a big quarter. Reiter would keep the Indians close with 12 points in the first eight minutes of the second half, but the rest of the offense contributed only a single free throw.
“We’re confident that we have guys who can score,” said Oskaloosa coach Zach Tremmel. “Tonight, we let what they were doing affect our offensive efficiency. We need to handle the pressure better.”
With the lead at 27-26 in favor of the Trojans, Gamrath triggered the 8-0 run that ended with Fairfield up 35-26.
“I just feel familiar with this group of guys and I’ve really tried to expand my game by working with coach Sathoff,” said Gamrath.