By ROGER THOMAS
---- — FAIRFIELD – It didn’t take long for the Fairfield girls basketball team to show the style of ball they were going to play.
On a play off the opening tip, the Trojans had a 3-pointer from the corner in less than five seconds. It was the first of their 20 attempts from behind the arc.
After the first score, the Trojans slapped a full-court press on the visitors that would keep the play up tempo. Fairfield downed Oskaloosa 43-28 in girls non-conference basketball action, Monday night in Fairfield.
“Yep, that's going to be the style we play,” said long time Fairfield coach Mick Flattery. “The kids like it, the fans like it, and I've been doing it quite a few years.”
The opening 3-pointer by Sami Fritz gave the Trojans a quick 3-0 lead. The only lead of the opening quarter enjoyed by the visitors came after Morgan Holle’s second straight score put Oskaloosa up 8-7.
Fairfield took the lead back on four consecutive points scored from Marisa Repp to close out the opening quarter.
Consecutive baskets by Alexis Westercamp gave the Indians a brief 14-13 lead just two minutes into the second. Continual use of the press let the Trojans outscore Oskaloosa 7-2 to close out the half.
“I thought early on we showed good patience against the press,” said Oskaloosa coach Steve Kaisand. “They have such long and athletic girls that the pressure finally got to us.”
The visitors committed nine turnovers in the quarter. One of the Trojans that was a big part of the press was Hanna Greiner at the point.
“I like to press and I think my size up front helps,” said Greiner. “It’s really a good way for all of us to stay aggressive and intense.”
Back-to-back treys by Mackenzie McClure and Mackenzie Flattery put Fairfield up 19-16. Two Greiner free throws closed out the scoring in the opening half.
Taylor Richardson opened the second half with a basket to cut the Trojan lead to 21-18. Fairfield answered with an 8-0 run to open the lead out to 29-18.
The up-tempo game continued but the Trojans had the upper hand in that kind of action.
“I think we need the game to go back and forth to benefit us,” said Kaisand. “We just need to do a better job of handling the pressure and being disciplined in running our offense.”
The final quarter opened exactly like the third. An Indian basket by Westercamp preceded an 8-0 run by the Trojans. The run ended with Fairfield comfortably up 37-21. Flattery was big in the run as she had six of her nine points in the two-minute stretch.
Greiner’s basket put the Trojans up 40-25 with just under three minutes to play. She was the recipient of a post to post pass from McKenna Ledger.
“I like playing the pressing defense too, but I think my most important role is to score low post points or kick it out to our shooters,” said Ledger.
McClure hit her second three-pointer and the visitors hit three free throws to end the scoring.
The Trojans have taken on four quality programs to date while fashioning a 3-1 record. Wins over Ottumwa and Waterloo East are included in the early-season stretch.
“We’re still a relatively young team, so scheduling the big school athletic teams will only help us get better at some decisions we need to make in our half-court offense,” said Flattery.
Fairfield (3-1) hits the road for a Southeast Conference opener at Mount Pleasant on Friday night at 7:45 p.m. Oskaloosa (1-1) hosts Pella in Little Hawkeye Conference play Friday.
FAIRFIELD 43, OSKALOOSA 28
Osky 8 8 3 9 – 28
Fair 11 10 8 14 – 43
Oskaloosa (28) – Taylor Richardson 5, Paige Howard 2, Alexis Westercamp 11, Chace Moyer 2, Aleda Renter 2, Morgan Holle 6. Totals 11-39 6-16 28.
3-point goals – 0-4. Fouled out – none. Rebounds – 31 (Westercamp 11). Assists – 6 (Howard 3). Steals – 6 (Richardson 3). Blocks – 2 (Moyer 2). Total fouls – 12. Turnovers – 28.
Fairfield (43) – Mackenzie Flattery 9, McKenna Ledger 4, Sami Fritz 6, Hanna Greiner 8, Marisa Repp 6, Mackenzie McClure 10. Totals 15-57 8-12 43.
3-point goals – 5-20 (Flattery 2, Fritz, McClure 2). Fouled out – none. Rebounds – 36 (Greiner 9, Ledger 7). Assists – 11 (Fritz 5). Steals – 15 (Fritz 4, Greiner 4). Blocks – 3 (Greiner 2). Total fouls – 16. Turnovers – 19.