Lady Griffins roll through Round 1

WINNSBORO – Last week, the Fairfield Central Lady Griffins closed out their regular season with a 50-27 bashing against Indian Land, and that clinched their second consecutive Region 3-4A title and a number one seed in the playoffs. Tuesday, the Griffins dispatched their first round playoff opponent Southside, 43-25.

The returning Cristin Gray (42) goes up for the aggressive put in. | DeAnna Robinson

“I thought we were ready to play tonight,” Griffins’ head coach Amelia Miller said. “I thought they were focused, they were locked in. Defensively, it was a collective team effort. It was awesome. Especially having young girls and being as locked in as they were.’

The Griffins powered out to a quick 8-2 start against the Tigers, but the Tigers answered back and tied things up on a Tania McDew three-point play. Fairfield scored five of the last seven points to seize their lead back.

Nikia Calhoun gave Southside a one-point lead midway through the second, their first lead of the game, but it went downhill from there. The Griffins closed out the first half on a 14-0 run that included two Zariah Rice shots from downtown. Southside did not score again until the 3:36 mark in the third quarter and only scored two points over a 12-minute span.

“It did break their confidence,” Miller said. “We have this thing where can’t give them any hope. That was our motto, but we have to keep our composure. Even though I told them ‘when they hit us in the mouth we have to sustain it because we knew they couldn’t handle our pressure.’”

After the long Southside offensive skid, Fairfield was up 36-17 and the Tigers did not have enough left in the gas tank to make a comeback. Tahalia Collier led the Griffins’ scoring charge with 15 points, and Lakeyn Boyd followed closely with 11 points.

Sophomore and team captain Cristin Gray returned from an ankle injury and recorded four points coming off of the bench.

“Her prescence alone is awesome,” Miller said. “I’ve been praying and praying that she comes back and I had limit to her minutes tonight but her presence alone in the paint and what she does for the team is great.”

Also, in another bit of good news for the Griffins, senior Tameshia Woodard earned South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association honors. She has tallied nine points a game in her senior campaign to go along with her 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 steals.

The Griffins host Walhalla Thursday in round two.

FCHS – 13-15-8-7 – 43

SSHS – 10-5-2-8 – 25
FC –  Tahalia Collier – 15, Lakeyn Boyd – 11, Zariah Rice – 8, Cristin Gray – 4, Deasia Feaster – 3, Tameshia Woodard – 2.

SS – Susy Delgado – 9, Nikia Calhoun – 7, Jordan Thompson – 5, Shaniah Cobb – 2, Anaya Muhammad – 2.