WINNSBORO — After two postponed games and three missed practices, the Fairfield Central girls’ basketball team will return to the hardwood Saturday night.
The Lady Griffins will host Eau Claire, as the second half of region III-AA play begins. Fairfield Central head coach Cedrick Simpson likes his team’s chances heading into the latter part of the regular season.
“We’ve got a good chance to do something in these last five games,” he stated.
Although his team has missed three days of practice, Simpson believes the only good thing about the layoff has been the opportunity for his players to get their legs back.
“It’s given our players a chance to get some rest and allow that hunger to build,” he said. “Because of this time off, the girls can’t wait to get into the gym.”
Simpson believes Eau Claire is similar to what Fairfield saw back on Jan. 14, when the Lady Griffs won 62-36. Despite earning that victory, he knows each game’s weight gains as the season’s end draws near.
“They’re (Eau Claire) going to be hungry and ready to play,” Simpson noted. “So we need to be ready to step up to that challenge.”
This late in the season, one game can make all the difference in earning a region championship. That especially rings true with a three-way tie at the top of the Region III-AA standings.
“I’m putting pressure on them,” Simpson acknowledged. “This is not just another game for us. This game is important and in order for us to be region champs, we’re going to have to perform at a high level.”
Simpson said he wants his team to take care of business by winning, so they don’t have to wait around for help from other teams in the region.
Eau Claire’s Shavon Hall will play a key role in the Shamrocks chances Saturday.
“She (Hall) had a great game against us earlier this season, she is a good player and she plays hard,”” Simpson noted. “She handles the ball and we’re going to have to keep her off the boards. If we can control her, we’ll be fine.”
In the first match-up, Hall netted a team-high 12 points and grabbed a game-high 20 rebounds.
Eau Claire will head into Saturday’s contest with an additional practice under its belt, since the school district was open on Thursday.
The limited practice days will slightly alter Simpson’s approach in Fairfield’s lone practice before the game.
“We’re going to put a lot of shots up,” he noted. “We will need to get back in our rhythm, and we might hold a five minute scrimmage to get our feet underneath us.”
Simpson added that one of the keys for a win will be if the Lady Griffins make their shots. According to him, hitting open shots is all about confidence.
“They (Lady Griffins) need to have the confidence to make the shot,” Simpson explained. “And if they miss, they need to have the confidence to keep shooting.”
Tip-off at Fairfield Central High School is scheduled for 4 p.m.