Lady Griffins Get Well at Eau Claire

Christian Thompson puts up a 3-pointer. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

COLUMBIA – After a tough 34-30 home loss last Friday to region foes Columbia High School, the Lady Griffins bounced back Tuesday night to capture their first region win against Eau Claire, 62-36. The win evens things up in 2A Region III for the Lady Griffins and sets them up for a pivotal matchup tonight (Jan. 17) against the Lady Raiders at Keenan.

“This was a huge win for us tonight,” Lady Griffins head coach Cedrick Simpson said. “This showed everybody what we can do. We played well Friday (against Columbia). We played good defense; we just couldn’t convert turnovers into points. Tonight, we did.”

Indeed, the Lady Griffins controlled every aspect of the game, and won the turnover battle nine to 14. Fairfield Central also swiped the ball more often than the Artful Dodger in a busy railway station, snatching 19 total steals on the night, 13 of which came I the first half alone. Eau Claire, meanwhile, managed only eight take-aways.

The Lady Griffins opened the contest on a remarkable 16-2 run through the first five minutes and stayed in the full-court press throughout the entire first quarter. By the time the first buzzer sounded, the Lady Griffins had built a 25-11 lead.

“It’s region time,” Simpson said of his team’s incessant press attack. “Nothing personal against Eau Claire, but we had to get back into our rhythm.”

The Lady Griffins scorched the Eau Claire defense with a barrage of perimeter shooting, including big 3-pointers from Christian Thompson, Chyna Moore and Tanise Davis.

“We needed that,” Simpson said. “We’re not big, so we’ve got to make those outside shots to have a chance to work it back inside.”

Fairfield kept the pressure on in the early minutes of the second period, but backed into the half-court trap. With 5:08 to go before the half, the Lady Shamrocks narrowed the gap to 31-20 and began applying some full-court pressure of their own. With the score locked at 31-20 for nearly two full minutes, Jada Martin finally broke the drought, setting off a flurry of scoring in the final 60 seconds of the half during which time the Lady Griffins boosted their lead to 39-24.

Eau Claire would never really threaten again, as Fairfield opened the second half back in the full-court press, running their lead to 45-25 at the 5:07 mark. With a 49-31 lead heading into the final frame, Moore christened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer from the top of the arch. Martin then stole the in-bounds pass and fed the ball into the paint to Thompson who laid it in for a pair. Even with the Lady Griffins easing off the defensive pressure midway through the period, Eau Claire could only muster 5 points in the closing quarter.

The Lady Griffins head to Keenan tonight, then travel to Pelion Tuesday. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.

FC – 25-14-10-13 – 62

EC – 11-13-7-5 – 36

FC – Christian Thompson—7, Raven Rivers – 8, Chyna Moore—14, Jada Martin—8, T. Pearson—4, Tanise Davis—9, Patrice Jeter—2, D. Cloud—4, Hope Woodard—2, J. Henderson—2.

EC – Alexis Tucker—2, D. Davis-Johnson—4, Samari Davis—7, Jasmine Grooms—12, t Hall—12.