WINNSBORO — Fairfield Central Griffins (8-5) basketball team defeated Horizon, a traveling high school team from Australia, by a score of 72-53 on Jan. 7.
Griffin head coach Devin Liferidge emptied out his bench early and often in the South Carolina High School League approved game.
“That was the goal, we told our players before the game that everybody would play,” Liferidge stated after the game. “We told them do your job and do with a fast pace, and I think everybody performed well tonight.”
Out of the 14 active players, 13 scored, and five players scored at least eight points. Brandon Adams and Daniel Maple led the way for Fairfield Central with double digit efforts of 10 points each.
After missing the first month of the season, Maple returned to the floor and Liferidge is excited to have one of his impact players back in action.
“He (Maple) is long and athletic and will be a big part of what we do later in the season,” Liferidge noted.
Through the first four minutes of the contest, the two teams traded buckets back and forth until Fairfield Central went on a hot streak nearing the end of the first quarter. With the score 13-10 in favor of the Griffins, a 22-0 run fueled a Fairfield Central lead of 40-18 at the half.
“Horizon is a team that plays real hard, but we were able to jump on them early,” Liferidge said. “We just wanted to be relentless with our pressure and our fast pace was able to wear them (Horizon) out.”
Timothy WinStaley was the only player in double digits for Horizon, and his 24 points was a game high for both teams.
Fairfield Central’s leading scorer through the first month of the season, Keith Workman, was held scoreless through the first quarter, but finished the final three quarter with nine points. Despite not producing early in the game, Liferidge was pleased with Workman’s overall performance.
“He (Workman) understood the circumstances and we are excited that he got a chance to rest up for region play,” Liferidge noted.
Workman recorded his 1,000th career point as a Griffin earlier this season in a win over Great Falls.
The Griffins open up region play tonight, when they host Columbia (7-5).
“I feel pretty confident but we by far have not arrived yet,” Liferidge said. “We are at least playing better basketball and that is what you want heading into region play.”
In order to “arrive,” Liferidge said his team needs to finish and be more consistent.
“We need to do everything better as far as rebounding and taking care of the ball,” he stated. “We just have to do those things consistently and I’d like to see us finish games better. Sometimes you can get away with mistakes, but when you play really good teams one or two mistakes down the stretch can lose a game for you.”
Columbia is a physical basketball team especially on the defensive end and are an improved shooting team.
“This is going to be a huge test for us,” Liferidge said. “They’re (Columbia) very athletic and very long and shoot the ball very good. We have to be ready for a battle so hopefully we can use our home-court advantage and some pressure and hold on for a win.”
Liferidge noted that the Griffin defense will have to be especially aware of players like Terry House and Terrell Block (off the bench), who can shoot very well from the guard position.
“House is their best player by far and they are a very guard oriented team,” he stated.
Liferidge said that rebounding and turnovers will be the key for a Griffin win. It will be the first region contest for both teams, and Liferidge believes that region-play is the beginning of a new season.
“What we do for the next six weeks will really determine if we will play for a state championship or not,” he said.
It all starts tonight with tip-off scheduled for 10 minutes following the conclusion of the girls’ game, which tips off at 6 p.m.