FAIRFIELD – With a huge South Central Conference showdown looming, Centerville had one more non-conference hurdle to clear.
The Redettes would capitalize on a big night from senior Claire Mathews as the guard notched 24 points, including 16 in the second half of play to keep the club undefeated on the season with a 47-36 win at Fairfield on Monday night. The Trojans, playing in only their third game of the year due to COVID-19 issues, were not able to handle the balanced Centerville attack that utilized the inside game and dominant backcourt play.
Centerville opened up a 13-5 lead during the first quarter of play with six different players putting points on the scoreboard. Matthews, Jayleigh Swarts, Kyla Moore, Mickey Stephens and Claire George all figured in the scoring tallies for the first frame.
The second period of play looked like the Redettes might be in trouble as they would only muster one field goal and four free-throws against an aggressive 2-3 zone defense by the Trojans. Fairfield also dominated Centerville on the boards with Hannah Simpson grabbing six rebounds for the home squad.
The Trojans, however, would connect on only one of eight free-throw attempts in the quarter. Both teams headed to the locker room with Centerville holding a 19-14 lead.
"At halftime, we emphasized the fact that we had to stop their dominance on the boards," assessed Redette head coach, Nick Belloma. "They had 12 offensive rebounds in the first half alone."
Centerville would take back control of the game in the third quarter of play, outscoring the Trojans 8-3 in the final four minutes of play. Centerville also utilized an aggressive 2-3 half-court trapping zone defense, holding Fairfield to only two points in the paint.
Up 31-21 heading into the final period, Centerville would hold onto lead despite the Trojans success in converting on four 3-point goals in the final frame. Mathews would score eight points as the Centerville squad would close out a 47-36 win to stay undefeated.
In addition to Matthew's 24 points, Kyla Moore added eight and Mickey Stephens contributed seven for the winner. Fairfield (2-1) will look to bounce back at winless Washington on Friday in Southeast Conference action while Centerville (6-0) continues the week with South Central Conference road tests at Knoxville and Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont looking to establish itself at the top of the SCC.
"Knoxville will play pressure defense and they feature an all-state player in Maggie Wilkins," Belloma noted.
Teams 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Centerville 13 6 12 16 47
Fairfield 5 9 7 15 36