Late Run Lifts Griffins Over Caps

Brandon Adams (4) goes hard to the basket. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

Brandon Adams (4) goes hard to the basket. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

WINNSBORO (Jan. 6, 2016) – Columbia nearly gave Fairfield Central’s boys’ basketball team a scare to open up play in 2016.

With the Griffins up 33-30 two minutes into the third quarter Tuesday night in the Griffins Den, the Capitals leading scorer Marquis McCoy drained a 3-pointer to even the score. That 3 sparked an 11-1 scoring run over the next five minutes and gave Columbia a 41-34 lead.

Fairfield Central got two buckets from Prentice Goode and Cameron Roseberry to close out the third quarter. Down just 41-38, the Griffins outscored the Capitals 13-8 to close out a 51-49 Region 3-2A victory.

“They came out and played with some energy,” Griffins head coach Devin Liferidge said of his team. “It’s a region game, and we’re familiar with them so we knew it was going to be a battle. This is a huge week for us, we play Columbia and at Eau Claire Friday. It feels pretty good to take care of business at home.”

The win marked a good restart to the season after the Griffins split a pair of games at the Sweet 16 Christmas Tournament in Orangeburg. They lost to Calhoun County 66-60, but then beat Saluda 71-52 in the Dec. 26-28 tournament.

“We’ve taken our share of lumps and bruises and losses and early injuries,” Liferidge said. “We’ve written the script for how to get off to a bad start, but I feel like we’ve played some tough non-region games to get us prepared for the next eight, nine weeks, so we’ll see.”

In what proved to be a tough region contest, Columbia nearly came out with a win.

McCoy led Columbia (3-7, 1-2) with 16 points, including four 3s at key moments to keep just ahead of the Griffins (4-7, 1-1). Mike Williams and Jeff Snipes added 10 points apiece.

Brandon Adams led Fairfield Central with 15 points, including his 8-for-11 performance at the free-throw line. Chandon Davis and Akyel Richmond each contributed 10 points.

The Griffins matched the Capitals shot for shot throughout much of the game in which neither team gained a huge advantage. They held a 16-12 lead going into the second quarter, but Columbia evened the score at 27 by halftime.

The Capitals clung to a 41-38 advantage going into the fourth. Both teams battled through five lead changes over the final stanza. Columbia held a 49-46 edge with 2:13 left before Fairfield Central closed out the win on foul shots.

Marcus Gibbs made good on both his free throws at the 1:54 mark. Then Richmond made good on the back end of a pair of shots to even the score at 49 with 1:37 to go.

When J.R. Edmonds drew a foul in the lane, he made the second of his two shots to put Fairfield Central up for good. Adams sank the final free-throw of the game with one second left to close out the scoring.

“It was a game of runs,” Columbia head coach Thomas Newman said. “In that third quarter we had a lead but then our big man and point guard got in foul trouble. It was a fun game, but we’re still trying to get to their level. We’re not there yet, but we’re close.”

Fairfield Central’s boys and girls teams will both play at Eau Claire Friday.

FCHS 51, Columbia 49

Columbia: 12-15-14-8 – 49

FCHS: 16-11-11-13 – 51

C – Marquis McCoy 16, Mike Williams 10, Jeff Snipes 10, Wyatt 6, Blocker 3, Foulks 2. R. Williams 2. F –Brandon Adams 15, Chandon Davis 10, Akyel Richmond 10, Roseberry 5, Gibbs 4, Peoples 3, Peoples 3 Edmonds 2, Goode 2. REC: Fairfield Central 4-7, 1-1 Region 3-2A, Columbia 3-7, 1-1