“We got great looks,” second-year Bears head coach Prelvis Paster said. “I didn’t have a problem with the shots they took. They just didn’t fall.”
Nonetheless, it was the largest margin of victory this season for Griffin (3-0 overall, 1-0 region) which opened the season with a pair of wins against Lowndes 74-58 and Valdosta 71-67 to claim the Charles Cooper Memorial Thanksgiving Tournament last week in Valdosta. Woodland (0-4, 0-1), meanwhile, remained winless as Griffin handed the Wolfpack its most lopsided loss of the season, topping the previous worse — a 55-48 loss to McIntosh — by 10 points.
Griffin used a high-intensity swarming defense to dictate the pace and make the difference.
The Bears led 7-3 at the end of the first quarter, 21-11 at the half and 39-18 heading into the fourth quarter on a night where Woodland never mounted a serious run at the lead in the second half.
“I think we’re quicker this year because we’re not thinking,” Paster said of the difference on defense between his first season last year at Griffin and this season.
Paster guided Griffin to the state playoffs last year, breaking an unheard of four-year playoff drought for the Bears.
With this year’s quick start — the team’s best since the 2004-05 team started 3-0 — he’s the first to admit the excitement around the program is starting to build.
“The kids were excited about playing home — there’s some excitement around the school,” he added. “They played to that pressure a little tonight.”
On a night where Mayes (10 points) was Griffin only scorer in double figures, the scoring was otherwise balanced as Waldon (9), Jaquez Parks (8), Marquavious King and Rashod Armstrong (6 each) and Thomas Ellis (5) rounded out the team’s top scorers. It was enough to keep Woodland’s defense off balance most of the night, despite a 21-of-55 (38 percent) shooting performance from the floor by the Bears.
“We just need to relax a little more,” Paster said of his offense. “We just have to get sharper.”
The Bears will have a week between games to relax and sharpen the proverbial saw. They don’t play again until next week when they are at Stockbridge on Tuesday and home Dec. 7 against Dutchtown and Dec. 8 against Henry County.
Paster and his staff will use the interim to work a number of things.
“I think for the most part we have to get the football kids caught up, especially with the timing,” said Paster, who only had access to those players for the first time on Monday because of when the football season ended and the basketball team left to play in the Thanksgiving Tournament in Valdosta last week. “Our offense involves timing so much.”
Another factor, especially against Woodland where Griffin only pulled in 11 rebounds as a team, is rebounding.
“Our post didn’t do a very good job against a team I felt was undersized,” Paster said. “We have to work on showing ourselves and being more of a factor. We’ll definitely hammer on that.”
GRIFFIN HIGH BOYS
Date| Opponent |Time
11/19 |@ Lowndes |W 74-58
11/20 |@ Valdosta |W 71-67
11/27 |WOODLAND* |W 50-22
12/4 |Stockbridge* |7:30
12/7 |DUTCHTOWN* |7:30
12/8 |HENRY CO. |6:30
12/11 |L. GROVE* |7:30
12/14 |E. Landing* |7:30
12/15 |LAMAR |6:30
12/18 |Lamar |7:30
12/21 |Lamar Tour. |TBA
12/22 |Lamar Tour. |TBA
1/4 |Jonesboro* |7:30
1/5 |Dutchtown * |5:30
1/8 |Upson-Lee* |7:30
1/11 |SPALDING* |8:30
1/15 |Riverdale* |7:30
1/18 |N. Clayton* |7:30
1/19 |NORTHSIDE-WR |6:30
1/22 |JONESBORO* |7:30
1/25 |UPSON-LEE* |7:30
1/26 |Spalding* |7:30
2/1 |RIVERDALE* | 7:30
2/5 |N. CLAYTON* |7:30