By DAVID VANTRESS firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — BENTON – Nothing like diving right into conference competition on opening night.
That’s exactly what the Fairfield High School girls basketball team did at home Thursday night, getting both the regular and NECC seasons off on a winning foot with a dominating 60-24 victory over visiting Churubusco.
Fairfield coach Brodie Garber said you never know what to expect in a season opener – but he liked what he saw from his team.
“The effort was great, both physically and mentally,” Garber said. ““We had some first-game jitters, and I think that led to too many turnovers. But overall, I was pleased.”
The Falcons (1-0 overall, 1-0 NECC) ripped off the first five points in this one before Churubusco (0-1) battled back to within a bucket at 8-6.
But the Falcons responded with an 8-2 run to close the quarter and led 16-8 at the first stop.
Fairfield began to take control of the contest in the second stanza, outscoring the Eagles 13-6 in the frame and taking a 29-14 advantage into the locker room.
A 13-3 third quarter put the game in the bag for the Falcons, who were able to substitute freely for much of the second half.
Jenna Kieper was the sparkplug for the Falcons in this one, as the senior guard poured in 26 points.
Kieper said she was surprised she had so many points – but she will gladly take it, so long as the team emerges victorious.
“I kept finding myself open, and my teammates kept feeding me the ball,” Kieper said. “It was a total team effort.”
Kieper said getting the first win in the books on Opening Night will be a confidence booster for the Falcons.
“We talked about that before the game, about coming out with some energy and getting the win,” Kieper said.
The Falcons were a 38-15 winner in the J.V. contest. Andrea Hagar and Alexis Thaxton had 10 points each to lead the J.V. Falcons.
The Falcons return to action on Saturday at the Northfield Tournament.
They take on Northfield at 11 a.m.
Follow sports editor David Vantress on Twitter at dvantress_tgn.