Lady Griffins Eliminated in OT

PENDLETON (Feb. 22, 2016) — The Pendleton Lady Bulldogs survived and advanced Friday night in the second round of the 2A State Playoffs, coming from 10 down in the fourth quarter to beat Fairfield Central in overtime, 60-50.

It was the Bulldogs defense that made the difference in the fourth quarter and overtime, as they held the Lady Griffins without a field goal for the final 9:58. Pendleton (22-3) forced 10 Fairfield Central turnovers in the fourth, and five more in overtime.

“We started to create some turnovers, we recognized better, we rebounded better,” Pendleton coach Tim Wood said. “Our defensive intensity, our girls played with a little more urgency, especially in the press, and we got some turnovers out of it, got some baskets.”

Offensively, Bulldogs forward Destinee Starks dominated the overtime period, scoring seven of Pendleton’s 12 in the extra session, including four points at the free throw line.

“(In the fourth quarter and overtime) we had to play good defense, get turnovers and make easy baskets,” Starks said.

Starks’ lone field goal in overtime, a three with 2:49 to go, was the first basket by either side in the period, and gave Pendleton a 51-48 lead they would not relinquish.

Fairfield Central (17-7) got within 51-50 after two Tanise Davis free throws with 2:25 left, but Pendleton finished overtime on a 9-0 run to secure their 14th consecutive win.

In the closing moments of regulation, Pendleton tied the game with 0:27 remaining on a basket by KeKe Rooks, then took their first lead at 48-46 on a pair of Rooks free throws with 0:08 left.

Davis sunk a pair of clutch free throws for the Griffins with three-tenths of a second remaining to force overtime at 48-48.

Pendleton trailed 44-34 after a Davis free throw with 5:22 to go, before Tamia Grate led the comeback with nine fourth quarter points.

The Bulldogs faced a 6-point deficit at the end of each quarter, as Fairfield Central led 18-12, 25-19, and 36-30 after the first three periods.

“The first half, we definitely didn’t play our best,” Wood said. “We had too many turnovers against a team like that, and we didn’t recognize their shooters.

“I kept telling the girls the whole game, ‘It’s going to be a game of runs,’ because this far, you’ve got two good teams playing each other, and we were fortunate that we had enough down the stretch to get ahead, and we made those foul shots to extend that lead.”

Starks led all scorers with 17 for the Bulldogs, while Grate scored 16, and Rooks netted 10. Davis led Fairfield Central with 14, while Chyna Moore added 11, and Jameka Henderson scored 10.

With the win, Pendleton’s seniors have now reached the third round of the playoffs in all four years, including an Upper State title a year ago.

The fourth-ranked Bulldogs will host No. 9 Newberry, who defeated No. 8 Saluda 62-48, in the third round, Tuesday night at home.

Pendleton 60, Fairfield Central 50, OT Pendleton: Destinee Starks 17, Tamia Grate 16, KeKe Rooks 10, Allana Young-Maddox 6, Cady Cole 5, Kameryn Oliver 4, Tatiana Davis 1. Fairfield Central: Tanise Davis 14, Chyna Moore 11, Jameka Hardin 10, Delexius Cloud 6, Tannisha Woodard 4, Nyashia Crumblin 3. Records: Pendleton 22-3, Fairfield Central 17-7

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]