Columbia Cruises by Lady Griffins

Tamisha Woodard loses the handle in the lane. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

COLUMBIA – The height of Columbia’s Ruth Washington and Wynter Straw was too much for the Fairfield Central girls to overcome Tuesday night. Washington scored 12 points and Straw scored 10 in addition to pulling down 10 rebounds as the Lady Capitals stopped the Lady Griffins 51-38 at the Columbia High gym.

“Turnovers ended up killing us the entire game,” Fairfield Central head coach Amelia Miller said. “We just weren’t aggressive enough, and their big girls hurt us down low.”

Columbia out-rebounded Fairfield Central 30-19 and kept a strong presence under the net.

Tanise Davis led the Lady Griffins with 15 points on the night, including three first-half 3-pointers.

Fairfield Central (6-5, 1-2 Region III-2A) held an 11-10 advantage going into the second quarter, but Columbia went on an 8-0 run to start the second quarter. Two straight Davis 3-pointers made it 18-17 at the 4:30 mark of the second quarter, but the Lady Capitals outscored the Lady Griffins 10-2 in the final minutes and held a 28-19 halftime lead.

Fairfield Central closed to within 32-27 on Davis’ put-back halfway through the third, but that was as close as the Lady Griffins could get. Columbia took a 41-32 lead into the fourth quarter, and outscored Fairfield Central 10-6 in the final quarter.

“The girls that I have, they’re young and inexperienced, and we just couldn’t find it,” Miller said. “We’re young, but they’re learning. We’re going to get there.”

The Lady Griffins suffered a scare late in the game. With the Lady Capitals leading 49-38 with 2:38 left in the game, Carissa Alston collapsed on the bench. She had entered the game just two minutes before and had scored about a minute before having difficulty breathing.

Columbia assistants and trainers assisted coach Miller and her staff, assisted by Richland County deputies. Paramedics and City of Columbia firefighters eventually arrived and wheeled Alston off on a gurney as the crowd applauded.

“I believe she’ll be all right,” Miller said. “It never ever happened around me before, but her mom is my assistant coach and she monitors her. I don’t know. I really don’t know the details of what happened, but she’ll be all right.”

Alston remained conscious throughout the episode. Her condition was not known at press time.

When play resumed some 20 minutes after Alston’s collapse, the Lady Capitals’ Systeria Dorsey put in the game’s final basket with just over a minute to go.

Columbia 51, Fairfield Central 38

Fairfield Central: 11-8-13- 6 – 38

Columbia: 10-18-13-10 – 51

FC – Tanise Davis 15, Woodard 8, Henderson 7, Cloud 6, Alston 2. C – Ruth Washington 12, Wynter Straw 10, Briana Roberts 10, Copeland 8, Dorsey 7, Steadman 4.

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