“Pasta night, senior night, Cancer night, all the nights in one night. It was a good night for it,” said the smiling Trojan senior speedster, Ashley Bloomquist, who hit six of the Trojans 11 successful 3-pointers en route to a game-high 21 points during Fairfield’s 74-35 win that secured a share of the Southeast Conference title.
“We knew we could do it,” added Bloomquist who will sign this Friday with Wartburg to run in college. “We showed up to Keokuk last week knowing that we had to get things done and it was a lot of fun and I am really proud of how far our team has come.”
As for the emotions of the night, Bloom stayed focused.
“I’m OK. I know I have at least one more game. My grandma, Susan Vannoy, couldn’t be here tonight, but I know she was rooting for me from home and I just wanted to get out there and get some money.”
The team collected pledges for made 3-point attempts and then converted 11 with juniors Destiny Gridley and Shay Drish making three and one, respectively, and 5’4 senior Madison Kraemer nailing a buzzer beater that sent the crowd into their first frenzy of the night.
“Getting to end senior night with that big three and getting to start and run out was such a big experience for me,” said the hard-working future graduate.
“I’ve been pushing myself extra in practice lately and I’ve been getting better every day and getting that extra playing time is really helping a lot.”
While the Trojans won by 39, it was hardly that close. Fairfield led 17-9 at the end of eight minutes and almost shut out the Bloodhounds in the second while outscoring them 18-5.
“We’re really trying to refine some stuff right now and we’re trying to build some confidence and that’s what we did tonight,” said head coach Brian Witzenburg.
“Every single one of our seniors scored and I am so happy and proud of that because there are nights where not all of our seniors get in and so for them to get in and score is what it’s all about. Winning the game is the cherry on top, but whenever you get these kids in front of a big crowd on senior night, that was just really great to see.”
Things got even better for Fairfield in the second half when they put up a ridiculous 27 points in the third quarter with Fort Madison doing their best to keep up with just 12 points, their highest quarterly output of the evening. A 12-9 advantage for the home team was capped by the 3-pointer by Kraemer that gave her team the scoring edge in the fourth.
“Night’s like tonight show that we are deeper than we usually play and I’m just thrilled with the way we look as we head into the postseason this week.”
As for making 11 long-balls?
“It wasn’t a one pass and shoot, we were moving the ball very well and we were taking what the defense gave us. We were working the offense and that’s why we made so many, because it wasn’t just one pass and shoot.”
Bloomquist 21, Drish 16, Gridley 14, Kara Jeffrey eight, Malory Jones five, Blair Bowman four, Kraemer three, Jill Dunlap two and Darby Kaska one.
The Trojans will host the winner of Mt. Pleasant and Clear Creek-Amana Saturday Feb. 16 at FHS.
“We are playing with a lot of confidence right now and that’s exactly what we want,” concluded Witz.