BENTON — Playing their fifth game in nine days, Jimtown's boys basketball didn't look tired Saturday against Fairfield.
Instead, the Jimmies looked determined to end a two-game losing streak.
The result was a 31-4 halftime lead by Jimtown and a 51-26 victory.
"I just got done telling our team (in the locker room) that we just got done playing a third of our season in 15 days, so we were tired," said Jimtown coach Matt Schauss, whose team improved to 5-2. "It was hard and we played a lot of guys a lot of minutes. We played some great ball clubs that are well coached. Our goal is to win all our games and we're not satisfied with our record.
"Tonight, we decided to pick up the tempo a little bit and do some different things."
Jimtown picked up the tempo by playing a variety of defenses, which frustrated Fairfield. The Falcons missed 10 of their 12 shots in the first half and turned the ball over 10 times.
"We played some press and did some half-court traps to try to speed them up," Schauss said. "It helps having (6-foot-7) Preston (Phillips) up top to get deflections. We had a lot of deflections that led to some transition baskets."
The Jimmies' offensive execution was sharp right from the start, as Jimtown had no turnovers and shot 58-percent (11-of-19) from the field during the first half.
Because of that impressive play, Schauss spent little time talking to his team at halftime, as his players were on the court practicing with over five minutes left before the start of the second half.
In contrast, Fairfield's players didn't return to the court until there was less than a minute on the clock.
"The bottom-line is that they got us out of rhythm and you could say flustered," said Fairfield coach Randy DeShone, whose team fell to 2-5. "When we did break (the press) and get good shots we missed them.
"We told the kids (after the game) that we've been on a steady step up as we've been going and that this is the first time where things kind of fell apart. It's like life. When things go wrong you have to strap it back on. We have to come back in Monday and work at getting better again."
Eight of the nine players that participated for Jimtown scored. Phillips led the way with 15 points and Beau Barham came off the bench to add 10. Bill Pawlak contributed nine.
Schauss was happy to see Ethan Allen come off the bench to score his first four points of the season.
"That makes me feel really good," Schauss said. "Everbody plays a role on the team and I've told him there's going to come a time when he makes a play to help us win a game. He's the ultimate teammate. He's cheering everybody on. He's always ready to play. He's also on the bench talking to the guys. I had no question that he was going to do a good job tonight."
Nolin Sharick scored 12 points to lead Fairfield, which finished the game shooting 32-percent (9-of-28) from the field.
Despite his team's play, DeShone was happy to once again be on the same court with the Jimtown boys basketball program. DeShone has strong ties with the Jimmes. He coached them to the Class 2A state title during the 2003-04 season. Along with that, Pawlak is DeShone's nephew and two of Jimtown's assistant coaches – Ryan Woolwine and DJ Washington – played for DeShone at Jimtown.
"Bill is a great kid and my in-laws were up there in the stands tonight, along with my wife," DeShone said. "I enjoy that. Bill is a heck of a player and I'm proud of what he's doing. Me and Ryan took a picture together before the game. We're close family friends. It was fun coaching against him."
DeShone now has a 1-2 lifetime record against Jimtown. As the Elkhart Central coach, he beat them, 52-44 in 2016, and in 2015 he lost to the Jimmies, 52-50.
JIMTOWN 51, FAIRFIELD 26
JIMTOWN: Preston Phillips 6 2-5 15, Clay Campbell 2 0-0 5, Brayden Rice 1 1-1 3, Blake Garretson 1 0-0 2, Bill Pawlak 3 2-2 9, Hunter Konrath 1 0-0 3, Beau Barhams 4 0-0 10, Ethan Allen 2 0-0 4, Stone Norment 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-42 (.476), 5-8 (.625), 51.
FAIRFIELD: Nolin Sharick 4 3-4 12, Cade Gall 1 0-0 2, Bryce Willard 0 0-0 0, Riley Behles 1 0-0 2, Justin Bontrager 1 0-0 2, Owen Miller 1 0-0 2, Holden Blosser 1 0-0 2, Dalton Cripe 0 4-4 4, Bryce Hunsberger 0 0-0 0, Brayton Chupp 0 0-0 0, Casey Murray 0 0-0 0. Totals: 9-28 (.321), 7-8 (.875), 26.
Scoring By Quarters
3-point goals: Jimtown (6) - Barhams 2, Konrath, Pawlak, Campbell, Phillips; Fairfield (1) - Sharick. Rebounds: Jimtown (22) - Phillips 4, Garretson 4, Barhams 4; Fairfield (16) - Sharick 4. Turnovers: Jimtown 6, Fairfield 15. Steals: Jimtown (9) - Phillips 2, Rice 2, Pawlak 2; Fairfield 2. Total fouls: Jimtown 11, Fairfield 14. Fouled out - none. Records: Jimtown 5-2, Fairfield 2-5. JV: Jimtown 27, Fairfield 26.