Bryant, Wildcats Outpace Griffins

Akyel Richmond (23) draws the foul underneath the basket at Lexington Monday. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

Akyel Richmond (23) draws the foul underneath the basket at Lexington Monday. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

LEXINGTON (Dec. 21, 2015) – Fairfield Central’s boys’ basketball team stayed within striking distance of Lexington for most of the night Monday, but they never overcame the distance shooting of Darius Bryant and the interior work of Jason Rumph.

Bryant sank five 3-pointers for the Wildcats and had 20 points on the night, while Rumph had 13 points and 12 rebounds in a 64-56 victory over the Griffins.

“Darius, he’s tough to deal with,” Fairfield Central head coach Devin Liferidge said. “He makes plays off the dribble, he’s good at catching and shooting. Sometimes we were there and (guarding him) didn’t matter, other times we weren’t there, he just put us in tough situations.”

Brandon Adams led Fairfield Central’s fast attack with 20 points. Marcus Gibbs had 13 points, but it seemed like Bryant and company kept the Griffins off balance at key points in the game.

From the start, Bryant’s threes bit the Griffins (2-5). Lexington (7-5) took an 8-2 lead on his back-to-back threes early in the game. Fairfield Central fought through a 15-7 first quarter deficit and eventually took a 22-20 lead with 18 seconds left in the first half, getting points from five Griffins over the second quarter.

Fairfield Central’s only lead of the game lasted all of 15 seconds. Bryant took the foul line with three seconds to go and sank both shots to even the score at 22 by the half.

Lexington took a 4-point lead early in the third, but the Griffins tied it up again at 28 when Gibbs took a defensive rebound and converted it to a basket at the 5:22 mark of the third.

That was the last time the Griffins kept close to the Wildcats, as Lexington finished the quarter on a 10-4 run. Lexington moved to a 56-44 lead with two minutes to go, and from there the clock was punctuated with timeouts and foul shots.

“We didn’t want to press them that early,” Liferidge said, “but we had kind of a funk in the third quarter, so we put them under some pressure, and it came back to bite us on the butt.”

Fairfield Central’s boys’ and girls’ teams will both play in the Orangeburg County Sweet 16 Invitational at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School this weekend.

The Griffins haven’t had a lot of wins going into the holidays, but Liferidge says his team is going to be ready when region competition starts up in mid-January.

“I’ve said this over and over, I’ve never felt this good about a (2-5) team,” Liferidge said. “We’ve played a heck of a schedule, but you play those teams like Lexington and Blythewood so that when you play the teams in your region, you’re battle tested. These types of games will pay off for us in January and February.”


LHS: 64, FCHS: 56

FC: 7-15-10-24 – 56

L: 13-9-16-26 – 64

F – Brandon Adams 20, Marcus Gibbs 13, Peoples 6, Richmond 6, Davis 4, Roseberry 3, Edmonds 2, Pauling 2. L –Darius Bryant 22, Jason Rumph 13, Dontrell Shuler 10, Shackleford 7, Haney 4, Bethea 4, Hendrson 2. REC: Fairfield Central 2-5, Lexington 7-4.

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