Griffins Hold Off Shamrock Rally

Akyel Richmond polishes the glass vs. Eau Claire Tuesday. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

Akyel Richmond polishes the glass vs. Eau Claire Tuesday. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

WINNSBORO (Feb. 6, 2016) – A chess match was played Tuesday night between the Fairfield Central Griffins and the Shamrocks of Eau Claire. Despite a magnificent comeback by Eau Claire, their rally fell short as Jordon Pauling hit a big 3 to lead the Griffins past Eau Claire 66-65.

“We showed a lot of will tonight despite some calls not going our way and losing our big lead. I’m glad we continued to fight through it all,” Griffins head coach Devin Liferidge said.

The game began with both teams playing aggressively on defense, forcing a lot of turnovers. The Griffins (11-7, 8-1) capitalized first from their aggressive style scoring 10 of their 20 first-quarter points on fast breaks as they forced Eau Claire turnovers with their full-court pressure.

“Our defense in the first quarter helped us jumpstart our offense at a time where we were struggling to get points,” Liferidge said.

Brandon Adams’ 7 points in the second quarter helped increase the Griffins’ lead during a 12-2 run, even though they were outscored 20-19 in the quarter. Despite the scoring difference in the second, the Griffins took an 11-point halftime lead, 39-28.

The Shamrocks came into the third quarter on fire, going on a 20-9 run and cutting the Griffins’ lead to 48-46 headed into the final frame.

“Eau Claire is a feisty team, so that run was expected by those guys. I’m glad that despite the run we continued to play our game,” Liferidge said.

Despite the small meltdown by Fairfield Central, they were able to continue leading the game. For a while, at least.

Eau Claire snatched away that lead with less than a minute remaining in the game. But Fairfield Central took it right back off free throws by Marcus Gibbs. After the Shamrocks tied the game, Pauling drove in the dagger with a 3 to give the Griffins the final lead.

“Jordon sank a big 3 for us and I’m just happy we didn’t let their runs mess with us mentally,” Liferidge said.

The Griffins travel to Newberry Friday for a key region matchup.

Fairfield Central 66, Eau Claire 65

EC – K. McNeil 10, J. Miller 17, K. Mallet 4, R. Gilmore 12, G. Crader 11, R. Davis 6, J. Gunner 2. FC – Marcus Gibbs 8, Cameron Roseberry 2, Brandon Adams 10, Jordon Pauling 8, Davon Peoples 5, Audwin Armstrong 8, Chandon Davis 4, JR Edmonds 5, Akyel Richmond 16. REC: Eau Claire 4-9, 3-4. Fairfield Central 11-7, 8-1.


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