WINNSBORO — The Fairfield Central Griffins (5-5) basketball team will be spending the weekend (Dec. 19-Dec. 21) in sunny Florida for the Kruel Classic Tournament in Coral Springs, Fla.
Griffins’ head coach Devin Liferidge said the exposure of an out-of-state tournament will be a positive experience for his players.
“This is a really good tournament and it is some extra exposure for our team,” he noted. “We’ve told our kids to just embrace the opportunity in playing national type talent.”
The third-year head coach believes the varying styles of play will help prepare his team for region play after the new year.
“You come to a tournament like this to see all those different looks and schemes,” he said. “When you see that type of competition, hopefully it prepare us for our region games in January.”
Fairfield starts off the tournament against Dillard (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) tonight with tip-off scheduled for 6 p.m. Dillard (8-3) averages 64 points per game and gives up an average of 53 points per game. Their three losses have only come by a combined 21 points. Dillard is coming off a two-point win over Palm Beach Lakes on Dec. 14.
Last time out for the Griffins, they fell at home to Lexington by a score of 61-41. The loss dropped Fairfield to 0-3 at home this season. At the end of the first quarter, the score was 8-6 in favor of Lexington. At the half, they held on to six-point lead.
According to Liferidge, Lexington’s slow pace prevented Fairfield from finding any type offensive rhythm.
“They (Lexington) were able to score and slow the game down,” he noted. “That combination really hurt us.”
The turning point of the game came at the end of the third quarter when Lexington was able to pull away after hitting a buzzer beater to stretch their lead to 12.
“The guys (Fairfield) were fighting to get back into the game but I really felt like that was the turning point where we lost our momentum,” Liferidge said.
Fairfield’s offensive opportunities were limited due to ineffective rebounding and over 20 turnovers. In order to improve, Liferidge said his team needed to be more deliberate with the ball and aware of where everyone is on the floor.
“We know we have to take care of the ball,” he stated. “Ball security right now is something we are preaching to our kids and just making good sound decisions.”
Keith Workman led Fairfield in scoring with 15 and Dequan Weldon added 13.