Fairfield girls basketball handling abnormal state championship week

Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 10:59 AM EST
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ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - The Fairfield Falcons are one of two teams from Elkhart County that will play in the IHSAA Girls Basketball State Finals in Indianapolis on Saturday.

Fairfield will play in the Class 3A title game. Last season, the Falcons lost in the one-game Semi-State round, and then were bumped up from Class 2A to 3A.

Now, they’re one step further, and they spoke with 16 Sports about how they’re handling a state championship week that’s been anything but normal.

“It’s that fine line we’re trying to find here, where (we have a) little bit of fun, a little bit of enjoyment, but then we’ve got to get back to business there, and I think the girls have done a really good job of that at practices,” said Head Coach Brodie Garber.

“Keeping the same routine as all the weeks leading up to this and just trying to have as much fun as I can with my friends and teammates and I think we’ve been doing a good job of that,” said Brea Garber, senior forward. “Having fun, but also staying focused at practice as well.”

“Just making sure I’m putting school first, and then focusing in practice when the time comes and watching film when I need to,” said Delana Geiger, senior forward. “Making sure that’s the priorities for the week, and then I think everything goes in line pretty well.”

Meanwhile, the Falcons say they are motivated by last year’s Semi-State loss, when they fell one point shy of playing for the school’s first-ever state championship in any sport.

“To go back to LaPorte, the same place we lost last year by one, and then to be able to kind of get the proverbial monkey off the back, that was huge,” Coach Garber said. “I didn’t use it so much as motivation, but I think, especially our four seniors, that was something that was stuck in their minds, like ‘We’re not going to do that again.’”

“It meant a lot because last year, that one point, it just stung for a long time, and so I feel like that led into the summer, and so it just kept us going, and I definitely think it fed us for this year,” said Bailey Willard, senior forward.

Fairfield will face Corydon Central in the state championship. Both teams are coming into the final game of the season with a 27-2 record.

Tipoff at Gainbridge Fieldhouse is set for 6 p.m.

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