Both teams had to deal with the officiating crew that got warmed up in the girls' game and continued to be questionable throughout the nightcap. Sometimes it's not how many fouls that are called, but how critical those fouls are.
Zach Hugen picked up two quick fouls in the first few minutes and had to sit out the remainder of the half for the Blue Demons.
Baker's 12 points at the half, a successful game for some players, was only a third of his entire 36-point production for Albia.
“You just can’t simulate their team speed in practice,” said Fairfield coach Tyler Miklo. “We just wanted anybody close to help get the ball out of his hands.”
The third quarter belonged to the Blue Demons. A defensive change helped them to an 18-8 advantage and a 40-38 lead after three.
Ferretti, who had 15 first half points for the Trojans in the opening half, was the focus of the defensive change.
“It’s great to be a part of this team. The guys have been really good helping me get involved,” said Ferretti. “I think that I’m a shooter, but I can also drive to score.”
“We didn't do anything special with the zone we played, but we made it a point to know where he (Ferretti) was,” said Archer. “It definitely helped us get back into the game.”
Tanner Wynn scored and Baker followed with two baskets to open the third, pulling the Blue Demons within 30-28. Gamrath scored for Fairfield, but Hugen answered with a 3-pointer and the Trojan lead was at one.
Matt Carr, who went scoreless for the Trojans in the opening half, started to have an impact on the game. He and Baker traded 3’s and Fairfield led 35-34. Baker’s next 3-pointer gave Albia the lead at 37-36. The Blue Demons closed out the third with the two-point lead.