FAIRFIELD COUNTY — Amelia Miller was not happy after the performance of her Lady Griffins (5-3) against Keenan last week and was looking for better effort going into their home match-up with rival Chester.
The Lady Cyclones came in at 3-4, looking for some payback after Fairfield Central took the first game, 59-50.
The first quarter saw two big runs, with the Lady Griffins jumping to a big lead early before Chester would tie the game at 13-13. The second quarter would provide the cushion the Lady Griffins would need to hold off the Cyclones as they built an eight-point halftime lead on their way to a 59-49 victory.
Tanise Davis and Chyna Moore led the way for Fairfield Central in scoring with 20 and 16 points, respectively. Tenacious sophomore Tamisha Woodard would contribute 14 rebounds and two steals, living up to Coach Miller’s billing as a beast.
Miller said she was happy with the improvement from last week’s Keenan game to the Chester game.
“We came out with more intensity. The hustle and effort was there,” she said. “We knew we were going to press the whole game and I knew that was going to get it done.”
Several times, it looked like Fairfield Central might pull away, but they allowed Chester to hang around and that left Miller thinking there was room for improvement.
“We have to get better finishing the fourth quarter. Got to make better decisions,” she said.
Monday night, the Lady Griffins were on the road facing the Lexington Lady Wildcats, and a rough start led to a big hole late in the game.
The Lady Wildcats defense was tough all night as they built a 30-15 lead midway through the third quarter. It was around that time something clicked for the Lady Griffins and they began the monumental task of turning the game back to their favor.
Helping turn the table were two star underclassmen in Jameka Henderson and Tamisha Woodard.
With Henderson and Woodard leading the way, Fairfield Central came back with a tenacity to be proud of, and was in position to potentially take the game as they had the last shot of regulation.
Lexington, however, was able to hold the Lady Griffins off just long enough to sneak away with an overtime win, 54-49.
Coach Miller was disappointed with the loss, but proud of the toughness her team showed down the stretch.
“I have a group of relentless girls. They have heart and give all they have and left it all out there,” she said.
There were several bright spots for the Lady Griffins despite the loss, too.
The biggest positive was the play of Henderson, a junior, and Woodard, a sophomore.
“Jameka Henderson made some big plays for us down the stretch as well as Tamisha Woodard,” Miller said. “I was proud of the hustle and the effort, playing against a 4A team, its only going to make us better and get us ready for region.”
The Lady Griffins will have another test coming up this weekend when they travel to the lower state for the Orangeburg Wilkinson Sweet 16 Invitational. Their first matchup will be Saturday night at Calhoun County.
Reach James Inabinet at 803-635-4016.