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02/23/03 Fairport just too big for scrappy Edison in 'AA'

By Jeff DiVeronica
Democrat and Chronicle


(February 23, 2003) — PERINTON — Big and bigger.

Fairport’s frontline was too big for Edison Tech in Saturday’s Section V Class AA Tournament quarterfinal and then point guard Adam Wale drained four big free throws in the final 27 seconds to seal a 52-47 victory that the second-seeded Red Raiders nearly gave away.

Fairport (18-3) plays No. 3 Greece Athena (16-5) in Wednesday’s 7 p.m. semifinal at Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial. The Red Raiders beat the Trojans by double digits in last week’s Monroe County Tournament.

No. 7 Edison (9-13) trailed by 13 points with 4:25 remaining, but scratched back. The Inventors drew as close as 50-47 with 16.6 seconds remaining on a three-point point play by senior forward Brandon Williams, but Wale was fouled and swished both free throws. The 70 percent shooter also hit two with 27.5 seconds left.

“We played hard but we had trouble all night getting into a good flow,” said retiring Edison coach Dick O’Toole, who had a career record of 315-268 in 27 seasons and won two sectional titles. “That’s a credit to Fairport. Their defense gets all over you.”

The Raiders had beaten Edison by 11 points and one point in two earlier meetings. Their man-to-man defense harassed Edison into 23 turnovers, including eight in a sloppy third quarter that saw the teams combine for 15. That is when Fairport went big. It led 25-23 at halftime as Edison rallied from a 10-point deficit by making seven of its 15 shots in the second quarter and Fairport stayed cold (10-for-30 shooting in the half).

But then coach Scott Fitch, whose team lost backup guard Brett Havens (broken jaw) last week for the rest of the season, started freshman forward Corey Magee in place of guard Erik Johnson to start the third quarter.

That gave the Raiders a frontline of 6-foot-7 senior center Eric Snider, 6-6 Magee and 6-4 junior Ryan McAdam. They combined for 34 of Fairport’s 52 points in the game and scored its first 19 of the second half.

The 6-4 Williams and 6-3 Brandon Sykes couldn’t handle the trio, as the Raiders attacked the Inventors’ 2-3 zone with good interior passing. Snider stuck in a pair of short hook shots and Magee connected twice as he was fouled and made a pretty turnaround jumper. He scored seven of his 12 points in the quarter and McAdam had six of his 12 in the fourth.

“He’s matured a lot over the year,” Fitch said of Magee.

E-mail address: jdiveron@DemocratandChronicle.com