Griffins struggle in holiday tournament

ROCK HILL – The Fairfield Griffins boys’ basketball squad headed to Rock Hill High School over the holiday break and were one of eight teams to compete in the 2017 YC Winborn Holiday Classic. The Griffins had a disastrous opening contest and the road did not get much easier for them. Fairfield dropped the consolation seventh-place game 51-58 to York High and ended in the eight slot.

The opening round match-up pitted the Griffins against the three-time defending champion David W. Butler High School. Butler’s offense gutted the Fairfield defense and breezed past the Griffins for a 93-26 win.

Fairfield did not score more than eight points in a single quarter. Jordan McPhatter led all scorers with 18 points, but he was one of five Butler Bulldogs in double digits. Raquan Brown, Jalen Gibson, Brayden Dixon and Christian Peters all broke the 10-point threshold.

Quay McBride topped the Griffins’ scorecard with 11 points. Butler went on to snag their fourth consecutive YC Winborn tourney win.

The loss set the Griffins up with a day-two contest against Chapin High. Fairfield looked much more formidable than their day one showing, but it was not to enough to get past the Eagles. A 44-59 loss to Chapin led to the consolation game against York High on the tournament’s third and final day.

The Griffins came out firing from beyond the arc against York. Fairfield sank four three-pointers in the first quarter, including two from Jalen Mazyck. The Griffins held a 22-16 lead heading into the second quarter.

York’s offense was held at bay until midway through the second quarter when they begin to cut into the Griffin lead. A baseline dunk by Tabari Moore gave York a 34-33 lead, but Fairfield’s Ledeveaux Ashford sank a three to immediately snatch the lead back. The Cougars scored the last four points of the half to go up 38-34.

After taking the lead late the first half, York did not let up, and Malcolm Kennedy’s 27 points was good enough to keep the Cougars ahead for the 58-51 victory. The Griffins are back in action Jan.3 at home against Westwood.