Griffins look to pick up where they left off

By Lucas Vance lvance@civitasmedia.com

January 31, 2014

WINNSBORO — Fairfield Central Griffins’ basketball team is back in action Saturday after their last two games were postponed.

The Griffins are chomping at the bit to get back on the floor after an overtime win over — then ranked number two — Newberry 90-85 on Jan. 25.

“We’re playing good and we don’t want to mess up our momentum, but it is what it is so we’ll deal with it,” Fairfield Central head coach Devin Liferidge said.

He stated that the only good thing about the layoff was that his players got some rest. However despite the off time, Liferidge admitted his team was ready to play hoops again.

“The kids have been texting and calling because they want to get back in the gym,” he said laughing.

Although his team has missed three practices, Liferidge said he wouldn’t drastically change his approach to their only practice before game-time.

“We will probably do some more conditioning, but the kids haven’t forgot how to execute our system,” he noted. “The biggest thing we’ll have to watch is conditioning. We need to make sure they’ll (Fairfield Central) be ready to go and if we have to use extra bodies, then we’re comfortable with that.”

Liferidge plans to keep fresh legs on the floor to try and get his team back in their groove. Fairfield has won nine of its last 10 games.

Arguably, the biggest win was the overtime victory at Newberry, which jumped the Griffins into the S.C. Basketball Coaches Association Top 10 Poll at number nine and plunged Newberry to number five.

Earlier this season, Fairfield Central played a tight game at Eau Claire. The Griffins won a low scoring contest 43-34 on Jan. 14.

“Teams are going to try and slow us down,” Liferidge said. “But we’re just so good when we play at a faster pace, so that’s what we want to do.”

Looking forward to the Eau Claire match-up, he noted his team would have to find ways to speed the Shamrocks up and knock down more shots from the floor.

Liferidge credited the close game Jan. 14 to the Shamrocks ability to switch their defense from a man-to-man to a zone look.

“They’d start a defensive possession in one defense and then switch to another, which made it difficult for us to identify the weak spots,” he stated.

Liferidge said now that his players know Eau Claire’s defensive approach, he hopes they can adjust quicker and run the floor more.

In the first game, Fairfield’s Keith Workman was limited to 13 percent shooting from the floor. Eau Claire’s LaMondre Corley was their scoring leader with 10 points.

“They’re solid and fundamentally sound,” Liferidge acknowledged. “We just have to be sound defensively and make sure we’re not giving up inside penetration.”

Tip-off for the boys’ game will happen 10 minutes after the final buzzer in the girls’ game.