NEWBERRY — The Fairfield Central Lady Griffins are 8-5 after an up and down week.
The Lady Griffins traveled to Eau Claire (0-11) last week in what turned out to be a lop-sided affair while resting starters as much as possible. Tuesday night, the Lady Griffins were again on the road, this time facing one of the toughest teams in the state at Newberry (12-4).
Against Eau Claire, the game was never in doubt as the Lady Griffins jumped out to a 22-3 lead at the half. The concern, however, was the potential for injuries as several players went down at various times.
Tanise Davis had a hard fall when she was rolled up by an Eau Claire player on a fast break layup. Delexious Cloud also had a scare when she tripped and hurt her knee. Both girls were able to return, though.
Eau Claire is averaging only 26 points per game on the season and did not reach double digits against Fairfield Central’s tough defense until late in the fourth quarter. Although the Lady Griffins missed several open shots, they were able to control the tempo of the game and improved as the game went on, picking up the 55-15 win.
The Lady Griffins weren’t as fortunate when they visited Newberry. The Bulldogs were billed as the #3 team in the state’s 2A division, and their bite was every bit as big as their bark.
Fairfield Central kept things close in the first half and went to the locker rooms down just one and optimistic.
The Bulldog defense kicked their game up a notch in the second half, though. The Lady Griffins were contested on nearly every shot in the second half, and had trouble hitting the few open shots they did get. Leading scorer Tanise Davis, averaging almost 16 points per game before last week, was held to only 9 points.
The tone of the game changed with Cristin Gray, the talented 8th grade starter for Fairfield Central, getting into foul trouble and coming out of the game. Without Gray’s presence under the rim, the Lady Griffins had a tough time picking up rebounds and the Bulldogs capitalized several times.
Senior Delexious Cloud led the Lady Griffins with 17 points and again lived up to coach Amelia Miller’s nickname for her, gnat. She was the fly in Newberry’s ointment, playing solid defense in addition to leading Fairfield Central in scoring. It wasn’t quite enough, though, as the Bulldogs picked up the win, 56-46.
Reach James Inabinet at 803-635-4016.