Griffins Double-Up Devils

Akyel Richmond comes from the baseline underneath the basket for 2. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

WINNSBORO – Fairfield Central doubled down on their rivals from Great Falls Saturday, with the Lady Griffins pounding out a 60-28 win over the Lady Red Devils, while the boys fended off a late rally to hold onto a 59-53 win.

Boys

Akyel Richmond poured in 19 points for the Griffins Saturday to lead Fairfield Central over a feisty Great Falls squad that bounced off the matt from a 20-8 first-quarter deficit, cutting the Griffins’ lead to 30-25 at the break. Dequan Weldon added 17 for the Griffins, and his performance from the free-throw line helped seal the deal down the stretch. Weldon hit five of six from the stripe in the closing minutes, and was eight of 10 from the line overall, to put the Devils away.

“I’ll take a win with a young group anytime I can get it,” Griffins head coach Devin Liferidge said. “However, I feel like when we had them down 19-0, I told the guys at halftime, if we want to be great, we’ve got to finish teams. I understand it’s a rivalry game and they’re going to hang around. They played extremely hard and they weren’t going to quit. But I thought we had an opportunity to finish them and I don’t think we did.”

The Red Devils clawed their way back into the contest, taking a 43-42 fourth-quarter lead with 5:20 on the clock. A timely 3-pointer by Cameron Roseberry put the Griffins back on top, but the see-saw match was on as both teams raced to the finish line.

“We kept our composure,” Liferidge said. “That can be deflating, when you’ve got an almost 20-point lead and you look up at the score board and you’re losing. But the kids made the right plays. We’re making the right plays down the stretch, which has been a big difference since last week.”

Great Falls took their final lead with 2:50 left to play when Deandre Perry drew a foul on his way to the basket. The bucket was good, and Perry made the free shot count, giving the Devils a 50-48 edge. But seconds later, Brandon Adams nailed a 3 to give the Griffins the lead for good, 51-50, with 2:34 to play.

“Going into the fourth quarter, we were one foul away from being in the bonus, so we told our guys to be aggressive and attack the rim and put the pressure on the referees to make the call,” Liferidge said. “We kept the ball in the middle of the floor and tried to get to the basket and it paid off for us.”

Adams was good for 12 points on the night for the Griffins. Nigel Simpson led the Devils with 17.

Girls

The Lady Griffins made short work of their Saturday afternoon on the hardcourt, routing the Lady Red Devils from buzzer to buzzer. Tanise Davis led the Lady Griffins with 24 points, while Jameka Henderson dumped in 15.

The Lady Griffin defense held Great Falls at bay for nearly six and a half full minutes of the opening quarter, keeping the Lady Devils off the boards until Morgan Lubojacky sank a 3 with 1:38 left in the frame.

It would be the Lady Devils’ only points of the quarter, as turnovers stifled any scoring opportunities Great Falls might have had. Great Falls turned the ball over 13 times in the first half alone, while flipping the possession at least four more times in the second half.

The Lady Griffins took a 32-9 halftime lead, stretching their lead to 48-14 after three. Fairfield Central put up 18 points from beyond the arch, going six of 11 from 3-point land.

The Griffins travel to Pelion Friday for their first region test of the season at 6 p.m., then return home Saturday for a 4 p.m. tip against Keenan.

Boys

FCHS-59, GFHS-53

FC – Dequan Weldon- 17, Brandon Adams-12, Cleet Richmond-19, Roseberry-3, Rikard -4, Chappelle-3, Davis-1, Peoples-3. GF – Nigel Simpson – 17, H. Simpson -2, White-2, Perry-9, Culp-5, Sanders-8, Tray McCrorey-10.

Girls

FCHS-60, GFHS-28

FC – Tanise Davis-24, Jameka Henderson-15, Delexius Cloud-5, Tamishia Woodard-5, Patrice Jeter-4, Nyasia Crumblin-3, Tequila Foster-2, Carissa Alston-2. GF – Morgan Lubojacky-9, Alexis Patterson-8, Carrie Edwards-7, Davina Patrick-4.