Griffin only scored 15 first-half points and that led to a 46-39 loss to the homestanding Jonesboro Cardinals Friday in Region 4-AAAA Division B action on the road.
With its second straight loss, Griffin falls to 8-5 overall and 3-3 in region play while Jonesboro improves to 10-2, 5-0.
An awful start doomed Griffin Friday night, just like it did in the 2012 Class AAAA first-round playoff game between these two teams last February. The Bears could not get shots to fall in the first half on Friday while Jonesboro did just enough in the half to take - and keep - a good lead over the Bears. Jonesboro led 12-6 after the first quarter and 25-15 at the half.
The Cardinals led 29-18 over Griffin at the 4:25 mark of the third quarter and that’s when Griffin applied ball pressure to force Jonesboro turnovers and get back in the game. Unfortunately for the Bears, the iron was unkind to them on the offensive end as they missed 8 shots and 3 free throws in the quarter. The Bears only scored seven third-quarter points and trailed 35-22 heading into the fourth quarter.
Three-pointers by Tae Mayes and Rayshod Armstrong keyed an 8-2 Griffin run which cut the deficit to 37-30 at the 3:40 mark, but Jonesboro did a good job of holding the ball and running the clock down, being patient enough to get high-percentage shots -- just like in the state playoff game last year. A dunk by Jonesboro’s Duby Okeke with 40 seconds left made the score 44-36 Jonesboro and that basically sealed the game.
Anforne’ Stroud led Griffin with 8 points and Kelvin Waldon snagged 7 rebounds. Daniel Peace of Jonesboro led all scorers with 13 points.
Griffin played a non-region contest at Dutchtown Saturday evening. The Bears travel to Thomaston to face region foe Upson-Lee Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.