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Youngest Downey lights it up with 3's

Sophomore helps Fairport snap loss streak against R-H

James Johnson
Staff writer

(January 12, 2006) PERINTON Kyle Downey played on Fairport's junior varsity last season.

That gave him lots of chances to see the Fairport versus Rush-Henrietta basketball rivalry up close.


staff photographer

Corey McAdam dribbles the ball past Rush-Henrietta defenders during their game at Fairport. McAdam had 13 points with six assists.

As exciting as those Monroe County Division I matchups were, it hardly compares to deciding the outcome, like Downey did Wednesday night.

His hot hand from 3-point range in the second half sparked the Red Raiders past Rush-Henrietta 43-35 in front of another large crowd at Fairport, and ended his new team's losing streak against the Royal Comets.

"I was kind of frustrated at halftime," Downey said of his 1 of 4 shooting in the first half before he finished with 15 points. "I told myself, 'You have to come through, or we're going to have some problems at the end of the game."

Downey, the youngest sibling of the late Tom Downey's athletically minded family from Livonia, became that additional scorer Fairport seemed to lack during a seven-game losing streak to Rush-Henrietta.

The sophomore guard's career-best point-total came on a personal-best 5-of-8 shooting from three-point range. He made four of his five 3-pointers in the second half, including a shot near the top of the key that gave Fairport a 37-32 lead with 1:30 remaining.

That was Downey's third 3-pointer of the fourth quarter for the Red Raiders (7-1), who moved into first-place in Monroe County Division I play with a 4-0 league record.

"It feels good man," said Cory Magee, Fairport's 6-foot-8 inch senior center. "You come into it saying that it's just another league game, and that's what it is.

"But it's grown into something bigger."

The two annual games are one of Section V's most-anticipated matchups, and attracted a standing-room crowd of about 2,100 people last night, according to Fairport athletic director Jim Zumbo.

It took about three hours for the 1,000 tickets on sale at Fairport on Monday to go. Dozens of students and adults pulling for Fairport wore red "Crush Rush" t-shirts. The gym bleachers were full by halftime of the junior varsity game.

Rush-Henrietta's gymnasium probably will be filled too, for the rematch Feb. 8.

"Not too many high school teams get to play in that atmosphere," Downey said. "You couldn't communicate with other players. I'm losing my voice now."

Both teams needed to do all that they could to muster points, due to nerves and tight defensive play.

Calvin Betts, a former AGR Player of the Year, led Rush-Henrietta with 14 rebounds and 14 points, on 5 of 10 shooting from the floor. He was the only Royal Comet to score in double figures.

That was as good a reason as any why Rush-Henrietta's win-streak against Division I teams ended at 37. The streak began after the Royal Comets lost to Fairport in December of 2002.

"I think our team has a lot of potential," Rush-Henrietta coach Chris Reed said. "A sectional title isn't won in January.

"In February and March, were going to (show our potential)."

Three players scored all of Fairport's points.

Senior guard Corey McAdam had 13 points with six assists. Magee, an All-Greater Rochester center/forward last season, matched Downey's total of 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

Fairport scored the first five points and led by four after the first quarter. The Red Raiders, however, made just two baskets during the next eight minutes.

A putback by Jonnah Whipple gave Rush-Henrietta a four-point lead, 25-21, late in the third quarter. That's when Downey began to find his shooting touch.

Downey, whose brother Kevin Downey was a co-AGR Player of the Year at Livonia, put Fairport ahead to stay when his 3-pointer from a wing made the score 29-28 early in the fourth quarter.

Fairport 43, Rush-Henrietta 35

R-H 9 12 7 7 35
Fairport 13 4 9 17 43

RUSH-HENRIETTA: Calvin Betts 14, Dhimitri Luarasi 4, Ozell Franklin 5, Ricky Reed 4, Jonnah Whipple 2, Kevin Nesbitt 3, Mike Sargent 3, Darryl Burroughs 0, Lester Carter 0.

FAIRPORT: Cory Magee 15, Corey McAdam 13, Kelly Condello 0, Mark Bruce 0, Owen Reilly 0, Kyle Downey 15, Kevin Borden 0, Brian Gebhardt 0, Tyler Launer 0.
3-point goals: Sargent, Betts 2, Franklin; Downey 5, McAdam.