PELION — Fairfield Central rolled into Pelion expecting an easy game after their 52-point home win over the Panthers two weeks ago, but the Panthers had an upset in mind and came out swinging.
The first quarter saw uninspired play from the Griffins, though they did finish the period with a 15-11 lead. After the slow start, Fairfield Central took over the game and never looked back. The Griffins built a 20-point lead at the half and finished the third quarter leading 66-31.
Senior Akyel Richmond led all scorers with 19 and Brandon Adams added another 12. Richmond was active on defense as well, adding 6 steals on the night.
Coach Devin Liferidge said it was good to get the win, despite the game being an ugly one.
“It was ugly, it was a tough atmosphere to play in,” he said. “You have to be mentally tough there. I thought they picked up their energy in the second quarter and created some separation, so we’ll take it.”
Liferidge also said that it can be difficult to generate intensity against an opponent that is clearly outmatched.
“It’s hard to tell a 17 year old kid that the team you beat by 52 two weeks ago is going to present a challenge, so I’m sure it’s a little tempting to relax,” he said.
Another challenge the Griffins faced at Pelion was a flurry of calls from the officiating crew. The referees called players for travelling all night, sometimes questionably.
“That’s part of the game, adjusting to the officials,” the coach said. “There were some things that were definitely questionable, but we told the guys to take them out of the equation. You have to handle adversity whether it’s a tough environment or tough officials.”
The Griffins will be back in action Friday night as they travel to face Columbia. Tip off will be at 6 p.m.
Reach James Inabinet at 803-635-4016.