FAIRFIELD — It's back to The Pit for the Fairfield girls basketball team.
With any luck, the Trojans will head from The Pit to The Well for the second time in four seasons.
Fairfield followed up a 57-38 postseason win over winless Burlington last Wednesday by knocking off another Southeast Conference rival over the weekend. The Trojans knocked off Fort Madison on Saturday in the Hound Dome, winning 43-29 to advance to the Class 4A, Region 4 finals.
"We tried to use several players against Fort Madison," noted Fairfield head girls basketball coach Pat Pacha.
Delaney Breen led Fairfield to the win over the Bloodhounds on Saturday with 10 points while Danielle Breen added nine critical points in the second half as the Trojans stretched out a 19-16 halftime lead. Hannah Simpson also scored nine points, including a half-ending free throw after drawing a foul at the end of the second quarter on Malorie Ross, after leading the Trojans on Wednesday with 27 points and 10 rebounds as Fairfield shook off a slow start against winless Burlington after the Grayhounds (0-17) entered the second quarter locked in a 7-7 tie after a free throw by Lyon with 16 seconds left in the period.
"I told the girls to relax after the first quarter," quipped Pacha.
The second period would prove to be the ruination of the Burlington plans for an upset at Fairfield. Burlington would toss in a lay-up just 15 seconds into the quarter to take a 9-7 lead, which would be their last lead of the contest.
Fairfield proceeded to score 19 consecutive points, taking a 26-9 lead before Burlington would again put up points on their side of the scoreboard. Simpson would score nine of her career-high 27 points during the quarter, hitting five consecutive free throws before adding a turn around jumper in the paint and a drive through three defenders to hit a lay-up.
"I thought they might double team me at that point," stated Simpson.
Lyon also hit eight points in the quarter for the home team. Burlington, running a 2-3 zone defense, was unable to shut down the lanes. Fairfield would hold a 28-14 lead at halftime over the Grayhounds.
Simpson would continue to dominate in the paint hitting another nine points in the third period, opening the scoring on a lay-up and closing the quarter with the final score on a free throw. Holding a 43-23 lead with 12 seconds remaining, Burlington's Alexis Standard hit a 3-pointer to close out the quarter with the Grayhounds trailing 43-26 as they entered the final frame.
With 2:49 remaining in the contest and Fairfield leading 51-34, Danielle Breen and Brynley Allison each scored three point plays the old fashioned way, as they were fouled as they scored a field goal and each converted on their free throws.
Danielle Breen scored 11 for Fairfield on Wednesday. Mallory Lyon added nine points for the Trojans on Wednesday while adding scoring a basket at the buzzer to end the first quarter on Saturday against Fort Madison, cutting into what proved to be the biggest lead of the night for the Bloodhounds at 14-10.
Olivia Jones grabbed six rebounds and finished with three assists and three steals for Fairfield against Burlington before adding four more points in the first quarter on Saturday. The Trojans held Ross, the Southeast Conference's top scorer (20.6 points per game), to just 11 points including four points in the second half as Fairfield outscored Fort Madison 11-4 in the third quarter to build a 30-20 lead.
Fairfield (11-8) will head to The Pit, the name of the home gymnasium at North Scott High School, to face the Lancers for the third time in the past four years in the Class 4A regional finals. North Scott (14-2) advanced on Saturday with a 64-44 win over Keokuk, led by a 20-point effort from Samantha Scott, ending the season for the Chiefs at 11-8.
Teams 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Fairfield 7 21 15 14 57
Burlington 7 7 12 12 38
Teams 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Fairfield 12 7 11 13 43
Fort Madison 14 2 4 9 29