WINNSBORO — Fairfield Central girls’ (7-1) basketball team prepares to open up region play tonight (Jan. 10) against the Capitals of Columbia (7-5). Fairfield head coach Cedrick Simpson feels good about his team heading into region play.
Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.
“We feel great right now we’re just trying to get our legs under us and get our minds right because this is when it counts,” he said.
Coaches generally split their season into three parts: non-region games, region games and post-season games. Simpson is excited to start the second part of the schedule.
“This is the best part of the season,” he noted. ” You work hard throughout the summer, camps, practice and your weight training and conditioning and now that comes up to now.”
Columbia is well coached team by Bobby Young, who has won multiple state titles.
“He’s (Young) been around a long time, he is a legend and a Hall of Famer,” Simpson noted. “They’re (Columbia0 pretty consistent and will stay in a zone defense and wait for you to make a mistake, while they don’t make many mistakes on their own. We’re going to have to be ready to play at a high level and it’ll be fun.”
Columbia is coming off a 33-29 win over Lexington on Jan. 8. The Lady Capitals average 36.7 points per game and give up an average of 33.5 points per game.
Offensively the Fairfield defense will have to contain Alexis Foulks, who just signed to play basketball at Georgia Southern next season.
“She does it all for them and is the catalyst,” Simpson said. “Without her it is hard for Columbia to get anything going. She handles the ball, rebounds and is a vocal and team leader.”
Simpson said it would take a team effort to defend Foulks.
“We can’t put just one person on her (Foulks),” Simpson noted. “We can’t just depend on one girl to stop Foulks. We will have to deny her the ball, rebound and hope she has an off night.”
The leading scorer for the Lady Griffins so far has been Jada Martin with 14.6 points per game, but Simpson also noted Chyna Moore, who is second on the team in scoring with 11.6 points per game.
“Chyna is doing a great job of scoring the basketball as a sophomore lately,” Simpson said.
According to Simpson, Tiea’quanna Pearson has been an impact player that was off the radar to start the season for the Lady Griffs.
“She has really improved her game on both ends of the court,” he stated. “Now with her (Pearson) we can score points down in the post. She has been playing consistent and as long as we can keep her on the floor we are a lot better team.”
Fairfield is coming off a 49-45 non-region win over county-line rival Chester on Jan. 3. The Lady Griffs led 21-18 at the half, and outlasted Chester’s 17-point fourth quarter to hang on for the win.
The defense came away with 25 steals and as a team, Fairfield Central shot 38-percent from the floor and 25-percent from beyond the arc.
Fairfield had three players reach double digits. Moore led the way with 17, followed by 13 from Martin and Christian Thompson added 12.