Written by Scott Batts/Photography by Melissa Lee
Having an explosive game, Lady Eagle Emily Knight soars past LaVega from beginning to end.
The Fairfield Lady Eagles playoff run began with a mild upset and ended with a loss to state ranked Navasota.
Fairfield jumped out to an early 7-0 lead at Bremond High School and would never trail over perennial state tournament participant LaVega. Emily night scored on a pass from Josey Richardson and a put back for the quick 4-0 lead. She added a three pointer on another pass from Richardson. The Lady Pirates followed with a six point run to close the gap on scores from Haley Howard and Ta’Naiya Norwood. The period ended with a second three pointer from Knight and they led 13-8 after one period.
Fairfield proceeded to go on another run fueled by scores from Richardson, Knight and DaMeka Shed. Emily Harris ended a long dry spell with a three for LaVega. Knight quickly countered with one from the corner. Fairfield hit five of six free throws and added five points to the lead and maintained a double figure advantage at 31-21.
LaVega committed 21 turnovers in the second and third quarters and the Lady Eagles took full advantage of them. During that time, LaVega only could attempt 13 shots and that was not enough to chip away at the lead. Mikalyla Thurman pulled up on a three pointer and added another in the final minute of the third. Knight hit one on a pass from Thurman and finished the period with one from four steps behind the three point line at the buzzer and the Lady Eagles continued to add to the lead 47-33 heading into the fourth.
The Lady Pirates made one final attempt to get close but Fairfield hit seven of ten free throws in the final frame for the 64-53.
Emily Knight scored a season high 24 points and had five steals. “We all knew that she is capable of of doing that any given night,” added head coach Sally Whitaker, “She stepped up big to take the pressure off of other players.”
Shed scored under her season average with only nine points but she had one of her better defensive games with eight steals.
Fairfield returned to Bremond High School Friday night to take on the top-ten ranked Navasota Lady Rattlers.
The Lady Eagles did not get off to the fast start that occurred on Monday night but the game was close throughout the night. Shed hit a pair of three pointers, one to take the lead and the other to draw close at the end of the period. Ke’aundra Eddings countered with a pair of threes and scored eight points in the period to push the Lady Rattlers to a 14-12 lead.
Fairfield was able to stay in the game despite making on ly one of nine field goals in the second period. They fell behind and closed the gap when the Lady Eagle defense forced five consecutive missed shots by Navasota. Thurman hit a three pointer with four seconds remaining in the first half and they trailed heading into the locker room 27-19.
Thurman followed with the only Lady Eagle field goal in the third period on one of 12 shooting. They made five free throws to keep the game close until Savannah Stringfellow hit a couple of three pointers and added five points to the lead and Navasota led 39-26 heading into the final period.
Fairfield did make a final run with scores from Birdow, Richardson and Shed and got the game with a seven point deficit. Eddings hit a three pointer and made five free throws to keep the Lady Eagles at bay and the final score showed a 51-43 Navasota win.
The Fairfield Lady Eagles advanced to the area round of the playoffs under the first year of Sally Whitaker. She maintained the success of the Lady Eagle program and say goodbye to the seniors. Look for good things from the Fairfield Lady Eagles in the near future.
It’s a great night of basketball for Lady Eagle #14 MaKayla Thurman and the varsity team against La Vega.