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02/26/03 H.S. girls basketball: Fairport tops Churchville-Chili to reach AA final

By Jeff DiVeronica
Democrat and Chronicle

(February 26, 2003) — WEBSTER — Last year’s Cinderella threw another scare into a top seed on Tuesday, but this time Fairport survived.

Fifth-seeded Churchville-Chili, which upset No. 1 Fairport and No. 2 Greece Athena en route to the 2002 Section V Class AA Tournament title, cut a 15-point third-quarter deficit all the way to four, but the Red Raiders escaped with a 66-57 semifinal victory at Webster Schroeder.

Fairport (21-1) plays for the crown for the fifth time in seven years in Monday’s 8:30 p.m. championship at Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial. It faces No. 2 Greece Athena, which tagged the Raiders with their only loss two weeks ago.

“Churchville didn’t want their season to end and I know we didn’t want ours to end again like last year,” said Fairport senior forward Kristin Olejarczyk, who scored eight of her 10 points in the frantic fourth quarter.

It looked like a Fairport blowout early, as the smaller Saints (12-10) couldn’t compete on the boards. Powered by forward Lindsay Ellis (15 points, 13 rebounds), the Raiders relied on second-chance points to build a 19-6 lead.

JAMIE GERMANO

Fairport’s Kristin Olejarczyk, shooting over Churchville-Chili’s Colleen Montgomery, finished with 10 points in the Red Raiders’ 66-57 victory in the Section V Class AA girls basketball semifinals Tuesday night.

“She won the game on the offensive glass,” said C-C coach Ryan Raftery, who somehow managed to avoid a technical despite persistent peppering of the officials about over-the-back fouls.

Fairport’s Josa Hanzlik swished three 3-pointers in scoring 16 points and also found point guard Sabrina Boykin (16 points) for a clutch three-point play with 3:26 remaining to stem C-C’s comeback.

“We have so many good players. It was just my turn,” Hanzlik said.

The Raiders’ 3-2 zone slowed the quicker Saints in the first half and Fairport led 33-24 at intermission. “I thought we lost our edge in the second half,” coach Kermit Moyer said. “We didn’t close people out as well.”

With Fairport’s Liz Hahn in foul trouble, C-C’s Kelly Monahan keyed a 16-6 run with 10 points. With 4:55 remaining, the lead was just 52-48. But C-C would miss its next six shots, as Fairport pulled away. Olejarczyk started a 7-0 spurt with a baseline jumper and capped it with a putback. The Raiders missed five of six free throws late before two by Hanzlik sealed it with a pair at 31 seconds.

“We were a little nervous but we did what we had to,” Olejarczyk said.

E-mail address: jdiveron@DemocratandChronicle.com