Lyon's cooking contributes to conquest

Fairfield junior leads balanced scoring attack that conquered Panthers

Mallory Lyon 14) and Hannah Simpson of Fairfield battles Mt. Pleasant player for the ball Friday in Fairfield’s 52-32 win over visiting Mt. Pleasant. (Doug Brenneman/Union)
Mallory Lyon 14) and Hannah Simpson of Fairfield battles Mt. Pleasant player for the ball Friday in Fairfield’s 52-32 win over visiting Mt. Pleasant. (Doug Brenneman/Union)

FAIRFIELD — Mallory Lyon was cooking Friday. She was cooking in the kitchen and cooking on the court. She started cooking at home, then kept cooking in the gym as she helped Fairfield win a Southeast Conference girls basketball game over Mt. Pleasant, 52-32.

Fairfield head coach Pat Pacha’s birthday was Tuesday. Learning this, Lyon lamented she did not know or she would have baked a cake.

“There’s always tomorrow,” Pacha offered. “Coach likes cake.”

After shoot-around Friday morning, Lyon and teammate Brynley Allison baked a birthday cake and the team enjoyed eating it in the locker room after the victory. Lyon’s baking in the game consisted of 10 points, seven rebounds and two steals.

She especially made a difference when the Trojans closed the third quarter with consecutive baskets and had a 10-2 run early in th the fourth. Lyon had six of those 14 points, both of her steals and two of her four offensive rebounds.

It’s not that Lyon stepped up her game because “I always try to play my hardest every minute of every game. I did do well during that part of the game.”

Fairfield started the game on a 6-0 run after Hannah Simpson netted the first two buckets then Lyon grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back in

“I like getting rebounds and rebounds are really important for us,” Lyon said.

Mt. Pleasant knotted the score at 6-6 with baskets from Tristan Shull, Emma Huckabone and Andrea Lopreato. A 3-pointer by Anna Dunlap gave Fairfield a 9-6 lead after a quarter of play.

Each team doubled its point total for a 18-12 halftime score, but the last minute of the half set the stage for the main actors.

It was 14-12 Fairfield when Danielle Breen took a charge with :48 on the clock. Trojan teammate Olivia Jones made two free throws. Jones then fed the Lyon with a great pass and Lyon converted it into points right before the halftime buzzer.

The end of the third was close to a re-enactment of the close of the second quarter. Jones scores two points (on a field goal instead of free throws), then assists on a Lyon field goal shortly before the horn sounds. Now the Trojans have a 29-20 lead to start the final stanza.

Lopreato sank two free throws (she was 7-of-9 in the game and finished with 15 points), them the Trojans produced a 10-2 run for a 39-24 lead and Mt. Pleasant head coach Curt Watson calls time with 4:09 remaining. Lopreato scored right away, but Delaney Breen answered for Fairfield with a 3-pointer, then a steal and an assist on a Danielle Breen bucket.

“I think we were able to start playing harder when our shots started falling,” Lyon said. “To win like we did is a great feeling. I don’t think we did or they did anything different. They played their hardest but we just made better plays.”

Delaney Breen and Simpson each finished with 10 points. It was Simpson’s third straight double-digit output, third of her varsity career. Danielle Breen scored nine, Jones eight with seven rebounds and Dunlap five.

Fairfield (5-1) stays unbeaten in the Southeast Conference at 3-0 with 3-1 Fort Madison (9-1 overall) coming to Fairfield Monday. Mt. Pleasant is 3-3, 6-6.

Mallory Lyon was cooking at home Friday and then she was cooking on the court order.

“I thought we were OK through the third quarter, but the fourth quarter we had to start with a press, Panthers head coach Curt Watson said. “We just did not shoot well. Give credit to Fairfield, they outplayed us. We have not been consistent enough in our offense, yet. The more we struggle to score, we get down and that affects us.”

Shull and Huckabone each had five points while Emma Rugg scored four and Ava Lowery connected on a 3-pointer for the Panthers.

“I thought they played really good defense until they went to the pressure,” Pacha said. “The way we attacked it gave us some easy buckets.”