Griffins Hold Off Shamrocks

Keith Workman (2) is hit with a charge on this trip to the basket.

The Fairfield Central Griffins boys’ basketball squad outlasted Eau Claire Friday night in a fast-paced, neck-and-neck region battle, 59-55. Keith Workman banged out a spectacular 31 points against the Shamrocks on their home court to lead all scorers en route to the win.

The Griffins opened up a 10-6 lead early, but by the 3:12 mark in the first quarter Eau Claire had taken the 11-10 edge. Workman and Shadarius Hopkins rallied the Griffins, knotting things up at 16 by quarter’s end.

In the second period, the Griffins lost command of the glass, with possessions ending in one-shot affairs. The Shamrocks amassed a 25-18 lead with 4:25 to play in the quarter, but the Griffin defense soon found life, slowing the Eau Claire assault, while the offense rediscovered the bottom of the basket. With 2:28 to go before the break, the Griffins had cut the lead to 28-25, and with 1:37 to go, down to 28-27. The ‘Rocks went cold from the floor as well as from the foul line, while the Griffins were able to tie it up from the free stripe at 29-all with under a minute to play. With just seconds remaining, Workman again tied the game from the line, sending the Griffins and the Shamrocks into the locker room at 31 apiece.

Fairfield’s defense came out strong in the third, as the game became palpably more physical and aggressive, with both teams drawing technical fouls in the period. While the defense held Eau Claire scoreless for two and a half minutes, the offense, meanwhile, was able to build a 40-33 lead. The Shamrocks found the basket again with 2:38 to play and ended the quarter on an impressive run, cutting the Griffin lead to 49-42 heading into the final period.

Eau Claire stayed right on the Griffins’ heels, drawing to within a single point, 50-49, with 5:37 to play in the game, but as the clock wound down, Shamrocks began fouling out of the contest. Eau Claire’s second leading scorer, Devon Wolley, drew his final foul with 2:04 to play, leaving the game with 10 points. The Griffins led by as many as six points late, 54-49, but the Shamrocks chiseled it down to 57-53 with under a minute to play. It would be as close as they would get as the Griffins iced the win down the stretch from the foul line.

FC—De’Andre Belton: 4, Keith Workman: 31, Jalyn Davis: 2, Daniel Maple: 10, Compton Walker: 2, Shadarius Hopkins: 8.

EC—Tariq Simmons: 15, Dominic Green: 5, Devon Wolley: 10, James Jordan: 1, Chris Dwyer: 13, Jordan Thompson: 2, LaMondre Corley: 8, Glenn Allen: 1.

Tuesday night, the Griffins were dealt their second region loss at the hands of Keenan, 56-48, in spite of 19 points from Workman. The Griffins can lock up the second spot in the region with a win at Pelion tonight (Feb. 1).