WINNSBORO — The Fairfield Central boys’ (15-6, 5-1) basketball team racked up another win on Saturday with a 75-62 victory over the Shamrocks of Eau Claire.
With the win, Fairfield completed the season sweep of the Shamrocks, which is coupled with a low-scoring victory 43-34 at Eau Claire on Jan. 14.
The Griffins are averaging 60 points per game this season and have scored at least 75 in three of their last four contest. Those are the type of numbers Fairfield Central head coach Devin Liferidge wants to his team produce. Scoring a lot of points and playing at fast pace is where Liferidge wants his team to be.
“I want us to be up and down and I feel like that gives us the best opportunity to win,” he noted after the game. “I really feel like in the first half we came out and set a tone and pace we wanted to play at.”
Because of that tone, Fairfield never trailed in the game.
After knocking down their first six shots of the game, Fairfield Central jumped out to a 14-2 lead over the Shamrocks. With the points pouring in, the Griffins were able to get into the feel of the game and establish a rhythm early on.
“It (scoring) is contagious when shots start going in,” Liferidge said. “We were really unselfish and guys were comfortable shooting the ball.”
Event open shooters would make an extra pass to a teammate, leading to even higher percentage shot. The Griffins made the extra effort to look for one another while running the floor.
“The kids really moved the ball well and I think that kept Eau Claire on it’s heels,” Liferidge noted. “When we’re playing at that pace and making the extra pass it makes us so much harder to defend. When the ball goes in everybody looks good.”
Fairfield started off the second quarter with a 21-10 advantage, but an explosion of 30 points in the second quarter would fuel a 51-28 lead for Fairfield at halftime. Brandon Adams drained a jumper for the Griffins just as the buzzer sounded.
Liferdige believes the 30-point explosion was due in large part to defensive pressure and good shot selection.
“It was a combination of shots falling and us able to get our hands on some turnovers,” he said. “Those turnovers occurred in the open floor and we were able to get our hands on some easy baskets.”
Fairfield Central won the turnover battle 22-16.
Eau Claire had chances at the free throw line, but only made an anemic six of 23 attempts from the foul-line.
On the other side, the Griffins hit 18 of their 24 foul shots. Liferidge believes a small shoot around the day before, when they focused on foul shots had an impact on their success at the line in the Eau Claire game.
“We shot a ton of them (free throws) the day before,” “We’ve never done it before but we had a small shoot around because I was afraid we would come out ice cold after postponing two games, but it was the complete opposite tonight.”
The Shamrocks were scrappy down the stretch, but failed to climb over the large deficit and never cut Fairfield’s lead to less than 13.
Keith Workman netted a game-high 21 points. Jalyn Davis scored in double digits with 10 and both Dequan Weldon and Daniel Maple added eight each.
The Griffins will play their final away game on Wednesday (Feb. 5) at Columbia High School, before finishing the regular season with three home games. A possible region title is on the line the final week of the season for Fairfield and Liferidge said his team will only focus on the next game on the schedule.
“We really have to be focused and just take it one game at a time,” he noted. “I know our players are excited to have a chance to play for a region title, but in order for that game (Keenan on Feb. 8) to mean something we have to take care of our business beforehand.”