Washington Evening Journal
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Third time’s a charm
Fairfield exorcises Demons for first time since 2019
WASHINGTON — Members of Fairfield’s senior class had never seen a boys basketball win over Washington. That is, until Monday night.
After eight-straight losses overall and two this season, the Trojans finally got the monkey of their backs in the Class 3A Substate 6 quarterfinals, beating Washington 57-51 to advance to the semifinals.
“It's great for the kids, because I don't think the seniors have ever beaten these guys,” said Fairfield head coach Mick Flattery. “That in itself was great.”
The Trojans had to battle through some adversity in the first half. Fairfield played most of the opening two periods without its starting back court as JJ Lane was in deep foul trouble, picking up three in the first half, and Tate Allen sat much of the second with two.
Despite that, the Trojans held on to a lead all game long. Fairfield got things started with a 6-0 run by Max Weaton, and the Trojans had a 15-11 lead after the first quarter and a 25-18 halftime advantage.
Washington threatened to take the lead in the third, but Fairfield always had an answer. The Trojans eventually stretched their lead to 41-31 on a floater by Lane at the end of the third quarter.
Washington trailed by as many as 12, but back-to-back 3-pointers by Ethan Patterson and Logan McDole gave the Demons life. With under five minutes left in the game, Fairfield’s lead was down to 43-37.
“I thought that's when we were going to make our run,” said Washington head coach Collin Stark. “Credit to them. They made some tough shots.”
Fairfield was up by just four points with two minutes on the clock. Up 47-43 with time ticking down on the shot clock, Weaton found himself at the top of the key with the ball in his hands. The big man launched what proved to be a dagger in the hearts of the home team, nailing a 3-pointer to stretch the lead to seven.
“I heard Coach say time is winding down,” Weaton said. “I had an open shot, and I've been shooting well in practice. I thought, 'I've been shooting well in practice and I've got the confidence.'”
Weaton’s triple led to a Fairfield run that put the Trojans back up double-digits. A late 3-pointer from Logan McDole gave the Demons a sliver of hope, but Fairfield closed out the game and moved two wins away from the state tournament.
Weaton finished the night with 22 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots to lead the Trojans. Riley Perkins nailed three big 3-pointers to finish with nine.
“My teammates have all the confidence in the world in me, which really helps me hit my shots,” said Perkins. “I love the atmosphere out there.”
Allen finished the night with eight points and seven rebounds. Ryan Higgins and Sam Weaton scored seven points apiece, and Lane finished with four points and three steals.
Washington (11-10) was led by Patterson, who closed the night out with 21 points. McDole scored 13. Aden Six had 10. Avery Six scored five, and Ajay Six scored two.
The loss for the Demons spelled the end for a group of seven seniors, five of which are in the Top-6 in scoring, including Patterson, who finishes his storied career with a final average of just under 20 points per game.
“I always talk to the seniors about wanting to remember those good moments,” Stark said. “There are always those games you want back, but you remember the good moments, and there were a lot of them.”
Fairfield (12-9) will now get to focus on a game Thursday at top-seeded Newton (15-6). The winner will play the Mt. Pleasant vs. Solon winner four days later for a spot in the state tournament.