Lady Griffins improve against Swansea

WINNSBORO – The Lady Griffins opened the season with a 45-40 victory over the Swansea Tigers, and Friday night it was time for the rematch. Early fouls and turnovers slowed the Griffins down, but they composed themselves and bettered their first performance with a 55-48 win.

Swansea shot eight from the charity stripe in the first quarter, but only converted four of their opportunities. Still, the free throw chances were enough to give the Tigers an 11-9 lead after the first.

“It was definitely frustrating, but I understand that we’re young,” Griffins’ head coach Amelia Miller said. “I got a freshman point guard, five sophomores, one junior, one senior, an eight grader, so I understand it comes with the territory. We just gotta to continue to get better.”

Tameshia Woodard gave the Griffins the lead, 19-18, late in the second, but they were not able to hold onto it for long. Danae McNeal, the Tiger’s point guard, had eight points in the second quarter and Swansea maintained a razor-thin 22-21 lead at halftime. McNeal had a game high 21 points.

A 19-4 Griffins run highlighted the first six minutes of the third quarter, and at the end of three Fairfield seized a dominating 44-28 lead.

“They just grind through it, and that’s what I tell them, no matter how many mistakes you make, you gotta push through,” Miller said. “I tell them all the time they have to have that killer instinct every time you hit the floor and it came out of them tonight.”

The third quarter belonged to Cristin Gray and Zariah Rice.Gray had eight of her 20 points in the third, and Rice had five.

“She’s was definitely a difference maker tonight,” Miller said on Gray’s performance. “She has it in her. She’s difficult to stop, she’s long and tall, but she wanted it and she definitely got us over the hump.”

Swansea only mustered up six points in the third, but their offense exploded for a 20-point fourth quarter.Despite the brilliant fourth quarter performances from McNeal and Jasmine Lowman, the Griffins’ lead was insurmountable.

SHS – 11-11-6-20 – 48
FCHS – 9-12-23-11 – 55

Fairfield: Zariah Rice – 7, Tahalia Collier – 5, Cristin Gray – 20, Lakeyn Boyd – 9, Asia Williams – 4, Tameshia Woodard – 10.

Swansea: Keisha Sloan – 2, Zharia Gillings – 6, Danae McNeal – 21, Lauryn Robinson – 1, Kennlynn Pressley – 5, Jasmine Lowman -13.