Fergus boys’ basketball team defeats Fairfield at home

Doreen Heintz
Sports Editor

Jaden Graham eyes the bucket on his way to scoring 27 points against Fairfield on Friday at the FHS Fieldhouse.                                              

Photo by Doreen Heintz

The Fergus boys’ basketball team split its games over the weekend. On Friday at home, the Golden Eagles defeated Fairfield, 55-44. Saturday in Livingston, the Golden Eagles dropped a conference game to Park, 69-56.
“The game against Park was much closer than the final score indicates,” said FHS Coach Scott Sparks. “We had a lead midway through the fourth quarter, and then Park got a couple of open looks. We failed to capitalize on two possessions, and the next thing we know we’re down by 5 points and in foul mode. It really was a great game.
“Our kids have nothing to hang their heads about, but have to understand that late in games we can’t have breakdowns on the defensive end and not finish from point-blank range on offense,” continued Sparks. “They are a good team. With the addition of a third scorer in (Brendon) Johnson, they are going to give a lot of teams fits this season. I’m disappointed that we didn’t get it done, but it’s not like we got beat by a bad team. They are going to be in the mix to go to state.”
Just as described by Sparks, the game against Livingston was close throughout. At the end of the first quarter, the Rangers led 19-17. Park opened up a 6-point lead, 34-28, at halftime. The Golden Eagles cut the lead to only 1 point, 50-49, to start the fourth quarter.
Jaden Graham had another strong performance offensively for the Golden Eagles. Graham scored a total of 19 points in the game. He went 9-for-10 from the free-throw line. Wes Jameson came off the bench for Fergus to score 17 points, including three 3-point baskets. Jake Clinton had 7 points off the bench for the Golden Eagles.

Graham scores 27 in win over Fairfield
At home on Friday night, Graham had 27 points in the Golden Eagles’ 55-44 win over Fairfield. Tanner Trafton scored the first 3 points of the contest on an old-fashioned three-point play. Trafton scored a field goal, was fouled, and then hit the free throw to give the Golden Eagles a 3-0 lead. The Eagles of Fairfield came right back with a basket from behind the 3-point arc to tie the score.
At the 5:40 mark of the first quarter, the Fairfield coach called a time out after neither team was able to put any points on the board. Graham finally broke the scoring drought by scoring his first field goal of the game. At the end of the first quarter, Fairfield held a slim 11-10 lead.
Clinton put the Golden Eagles on top 12-11 at the beginning of the second period. With just under two minutes to go in the first half, a 3-point jumper by Graham put Fergus up 20-17. By halftime that lead had grown to 24-17.
Late in the third quarter, Fairfield was able to tie the score at 30-30. Graham hit his second 3-pointer of the game to give the lead back to the Golden Eagles. The third quarter ended with Fergus leading, 33-32. 
After Fairfield regained the lead at the beginning of the final eight minutes, Sparks called a timeout with 7:02 left in the game. Graham scored off a great assist from Andrew Lalum to tie the score, but Fairfield’s Gage Blackwell hit a 3-pointer to give the lead back to the Eagles. With Fairfield leading 41-38, Graham’s third 3-pointer tied the game. With under four minutes left in the contest, Jameson scored to give Fergus a 43-41 lead. After Fairfield scored another field goal, Jameson hit one of two free throws to give the Golden Eagles a 44-43 lead.
That lead grew to 46-43 on a field goal by Clinton. With just under two minutes to play, Graham connected on two free throws to give the Golden Eagles some breathing room at 48-43.
Graham’s 4 points from the free-throw line with under a minute to play helped seal the win for Fergus. In the win, Graham went 8-for-11 from the free-throw line. Joining Graham in double figures was Clinton with 11 points.

Play Huntley Project on Saturday night
Fergus has only one varsity game this weekend. On Saturday they travel to Huntley to play the Red Devils. After the Golden Eagles thoroughly embarrassed the Red Devils at home before Christmas, look for the Red Devils to try to get some revenge on Saturday night. The game could be much closer than the 73-26 rout by Fergus in December.
Game times for the Fergus boys’ teams in Huntley are the following: C-squad-1 p.m., junior varsity-2:30 p.m. and varsity-5:30 p.m.
On Thursday, the Fergus C-squad and JV team travel to Stanford to play the DGS JV and varsity squad. The boys’ C-squad game is at 4:30, followed by the Fergus JVs playing the DGS varsity at 7:30 p.m.




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