COLUMBIA — The Lady Griffins (8-2, 1-1) basketball team got back to their winning ways Tuesday (Jan. 14) with a dominating 62-36 win at Eau Claire.
The victory pulled Fairfield’s region record even at 1-1 after dropping their region opener to Columbia last week. Fairfield head coach Cedrick Simpson said his team’s ability to shoot the ball consistently and provide defensive pressure was the difference in the game.
“We got back to our old ways,” he stated. “We got back to making shots, which made a big difference and made life a lot easier.”
The Lady Griffs started the game on a 16-2 run and by the end of the first quarter led 25-11. Simpson said scoring 25 points in the first quarter was a huge lift to his team and their confidence to hit shots from the perimeter.
“It was a perfect way to start this stretch in our schedule and really let our opponents know that we’re still here,” he noted.
It was the first of six straight road games for the Lady Griffins. Eau Claire pulled to within 11 in the second quarter, but that was as close as they would get. By halftime, Fairfield led 39-24, and then outscored Eau Claire 23-12 in the second half.
The Lady Griffs had five players score at least seven points, with Chyna Moore’s 14 points leading the way.
Fairfield continues their road streak tonight when they play the Lady Raiders of Keenan (6-5, 1-0) tonight. The Lady Raiders are coming off a 38-34 win at Columbia.
Demyra Rudder scored a game high 15 points for Keenan in the win, but Simpson says that the six-foot two-inch post player Leon Hill is one that he wants his team to be aware.
“She (Hill) is a good shot blocker and can shoot it well,” Simpson noted.
Keenan beat Fairfield Central twice last year on their way to claim the region III-AA title. Even though the Lady Raiders traditionally put a strong team on the floor, Simpson is confident in his Lady Griffins.
“Keenan is going to be tough,” he said. “They have size and good speed, so we will have to maintain our composure. But I believe that if we make our shots we’ll be fine.”
Simpson anticipates Keenan setting up in a zone defensively and said he wants the Fairfield offense to drive the ball in the lane and then kick it outside for open shots. Last year against the Keenan zone, Simpson noted that his team only made 11 of their 50 shots.
“We hope to change that this year, because it only takes a couple shots from the outside to go down for the defense to loosen up,” he said.