Griffins Plaster Pelion

Chanti Jones soars to the hoop.

In a game that was never in doubt, the Fairfield Central Griffins hammered the Pelion Panthers on the road Friday night, 61-39. Keith Workman led the Griffins with 19 points on the night, followed by Compton Walker with 14.

The Panthers struggled to find the handle on the ball all night, turning it over to the Griffins 20 times. The Griffins, meanwhile, converted those turnovers, as well as their eight steals, into critical points, both early and down the stretch.

The Griffins opened up a commanding 14-2 lead in the early going. A brief flourish by the Panthers late in the first quarter cut their deficit down to 16-9, but back-to-back 3-pointers by Workman killed what little momentum Pelion had mustered and gave the Griffins a 22-9 first quarter advantage.

The Panthers put together another mini-run in the final two minutes of the half, ending a scoring drought that stretched back into the final minutes of the first quarter. But the five points Pelion posted during that 30-second swing would be their only points of the entire quarter and the Griffins took a 32-14 lead into the half.

The Panthers were held scoreless into the 4:47 mark in the third, finally breaking the ice at the foul line. Still, the Griffins were up by 20, 36-16. Pelion’s Zeke Hawkins sank a 3-pointer with under two minutes to play, but Shadarius Hopkins answered on the other end with a long-range shot of his own, negating any Pelion momentum.

With the Griffins up 49-24 going into the final quarter, another minor run by the Panthers cut the gap to 49-29, but the Fairfield defense and late points off the bench put the win in the books for the Griffins.

FC—D’Andre Belton: 6, Keith Workman: 19, Jalyn Davis: 2, Chanti Jones: 3, Compton Walker: 14, Victor Alston: 2, Shadarius Hopkins: 7, Kewaun Squirewell: 2, Jared Young: 4, Jamal Foster: 2.

PHS—Terry Davis: 13, Rich Allen: 7, Carlton Richards: 4, Storm Guess: 2, David Phillips: 2, Zeke Hawkins: 6, Dylan Hill: 1, Jared McFadden: 3, Jacob Trice: 1.

Tuesday night, the Griffins wrapped up an 8-2 region schedule with a road win over North Central, 67-55. Workman led the Griffins with 27 points, followed by Jalyn Davis with 12. Hopkins added 10 for the Griffins, while Belton and Walker each had nine. The Griffins host in the first round of the state playoffs Wednesday at 7 p.m.