Griffins split games with Cyclones

CHESTER – The season may not end with any wins for the Fairfield Central basketball team, but will end with promise for the future.

The Griffins lost big Tuesday to Chester, getting in an early hole and falling by a 95-39 score.

Quay McBride (1) fights through the strong defense .

Early on, the shots weren’t falling for either team. Dorrien Bagley hit an early three-pointer for the Cyclones and Jeremy Stroud cut to the hoop for a layup, but the score just sat at 5-0 for nearly four minutes. Chester got it going later in the frame, though, with Quay Hardin knocking down a trey. The pressure defense of the Cyclones also started to get to Fairfield Central, with turnovers being converted into easy transition buckets. Keith Mobley had six points, all on uncontested layups for Chester. Fairfield did get on the board thanks to a short jumper from Quay McBride and four points from Jalen Mazyck but the Griffins trailed 20-6 after one.

The Cyclones all but put the game away early in the second, thanks to a 10-0 spurt to open the quarter. Bagley continued his hot night from outside the arc with two more three-pointers and Leon Goldsborough hit four free throws after being fouled underneath as Chester ran the score to 30-6. McBride scored for the Griffins on back-to-back possessions, on a short jumper and a lay-up in traffic to end the Chester run, but Fairfield Central continued to struggle with Chester’s press and had little luck contending with Goldsborough for rebounds underneath, taking away any second-chance opportunities. The Cyclones led 34-14 at the break.

Chester managed to get everyone into the game in the second half and all but two players on the roster scored. Bagley didn’t get a lot of minutes in the second half, but he made them count, scoring 12 points. Another pair of three-pointers was contributed to that total. T.J. Hollis also came up big after not scoring in the first half. He came up with a steal at half court that he took the distance for a crowd-pleasing one-handed dunk and scored 12 total points.

The Griffins continued to fight until the end. Montraivis White didn’t score a point in the first three quarters, but caught fire in the fourth, connecting on three, three-pointers and scoring 11 points total. McBride continued his nice night as well, scoring five points in the second half.

Chester Coach Sebastian Hopkins said he was pleased to see his team offer of a dominant performance after having their worst night of the year in Friday’s lopsided loss to region-leading Camden.

“We needed this game. We didn’t come to play against Camden. The shots weren’t falling against them, but they did tonight. The guys were committed. They did a good job tonight,” he said.

Hopkins was also complimentary of the Griffins.

“We needed to play hard tonight because anything can happen in a rivalry game. They are a very young team but they play hard. They are going to continue to get better,” he said.

Bagley had 21 points to lead a very balanced scoring effort for Chester. White and McBride accounted for most of Fairfield’s scoring with 11 points apiece.

Chester finished the season at 6-2 in region play and all but locked up a second-place finish and number two playoff seed. Fairfield, which remained winless, will finish its season against Indian Land Thursday.

In the girls contest, Fairfield Central trailed early but put together back-to-back explosive quarters of offense in the second and third to take a 54-31 win.

The Lady Griffins actually trailed Chester 10-8 after one, but outscored the opposition 42-7 in the next two quarters. Lakeyn Boyd led the way with 20 points. Cristin Gray had 12 and T.C. Collier added 11. Fairfield Central remained in first place in the region with a perfect 7-0 record with the win.