Lady Griffins Hold Off Chester Rally

Fairfield Central’s t Davis (12) flies to the basket. (Photo/Joe Seibles)

CHESTER – The Fairfield Central Lady Griffins traveled to Chester on Friday night for a matchup with the Cyclones of Chester High School and brought home a hard-fought victory, winning 49-45 and improving to 7-2 on the season.

Fairfield jumped out to an early lead to start the game, as both Jada Martin and Christian Thompson scored on offensive rebounds. After a deep three-pointer from Chyna Moore stretched the Griffin lead to 9-3, the Cyclones went to a full court press on defense. The press forced two consecutive turnovers, but the Cyclones were only about to produce two points from them.

Another three ball from Thompson extended the Lady Griffins’ lead to 12-5. After multiple trips to the line for both teams, the first quarter ended with Fairfield up 14-8.

If the Griffins’ won the first round of the bout, the second round belonged to the Cyclones. By establishing a presence on the offensive boards, the Cyclones were able to climb back into within two points within the first two minutes of the second quarter. Fairfield countered the run with a 2-2-1 half-court trap, taking advantage of the speed of the Lady Griffins’ backcourt. The defense worked in putting pressure on the Cyclone ball handlers and forced turnovers and another three pointer from Moore gave the Lady Griffins a 21-18 lead heading into halftime.

Chester threatened for the lead in the beginning of the third quarter, but Fairfield quickly tied the game back at 23-23 and then went on another run, sparked by back-to-back steals, resulting in easy layups for the Griffins.

A three-pointer from Thompson gave the Lady Griffins a 34-24 lead with 1:17 left in the third quarter. The Cyclones would battle back to close the margin to single digits but Fairfield’s lead was still solid at 36-28 to start the fourth quarter.

Chester worked the ball into the post on their first few possessions and found success, closing the gap to 38-34 with 5:09 left in the game. The full-court press that had kept Chester in the game ultimately cost them as the Lady Griffins broke the press for consecutive easy buckets, but the Cyclones would not go away quietly.

A steal and layup by Chester’s T’erica Sanders cut the Fairfield lead to two points at 45-43, but a bucket by Moore and a well-executed pump fake and layup by Martin stretched the lead to 49-43 with under a minute left to play, leaving the Lady Griffins with nothing left to do but run the clock down to a 49-45 victory.

Moore led the Lady Griffins with 17 points and three steals. Senior guard Martin put up a double-double performance with 13 points and 10 rebounds. On defense, Martin had six steals and three blocks. Fellow senior Thompson scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds, four steals and two blocks.

The Lady Griffins, as a team, tallied 25 steals and five total blocks in one of the best defensive performances of the season.

FC – Chyna Moore-17, Jada Martin-13, Christian Thompson-12, Pearson-2, Davis-2, Jeter-2, Rivers-1.

CHS – S. Sanders-12, T. Sanders-11, Marshall-6, Stinson-5, Simpson-5, Crockett-2, Young-2, McCrorey-2.