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01/17/06

Game 10 Fairport 56 East 55

Now 9 - 1

Raiders stake early claim as area's best

Magee comes up big with winner



James Johnson
Staff writer


 

(January 17, 2006) East High guard Keion Mitchem was a player to watch during the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Classic.

The Fairport Red Raiders kept such a good eye on Mitchem that they were able to edge East 56-55 on Monday afternoon and establish an early claim as the area's top large-school boys basketball team.

About 1,600 people came to Blue Cross Arena at the Community War Memorial to see the match up of state-ranked teams.

"It's kind of unofficial," said Cory Magee, Fairport's 6-foot-8 center. "Obviously, sectional championships are won in February.

"It's good to get this win, but we have to keep moving on. That's been our theme: Move on, and keep getting better."

Magee was able to do that on Monday.

Early in the first half, he missed five free throws and three short shots from the field during a 4:30 span. Instead of becoming flustered, the Canisius-bound senior later tipped in the winning shot with 29 seconds remaining. He finished with 20 points and 22 rebounds.

"You know you're going to get it eventually," Magee said. "We're just a tight-knit group, and it helps to know that everyone has your back."

Corey McAdam had 16 points, 8 assists and 9 rebounds to help Fairport (9-1, ranked eighth in Class AA) stay within striking distance of East (10-3, ranked 16th).

"We had opportunities," said East High coach Darrell Barley. "We missed too many free throws (7-for-15) and had too many turnovers.

"People are trying to take Keion out of the game. Someone else needed to step up today."

Mitchem, who averages 24.5 points a game, finished with 18 points. East's 6-foot guard twice scored more than 40 points during his team's recent eight-game winning streak.

"He had to work hard just to get touches," said Fairport coach Scott Fitch about his team's defensive strategy.

Mark Bruce, a 5-11 junior, guarded Mitchem most of the time.

"Every move he tried, I felt I could stay in front of him," Bruce said. "He's a great guard, and he did get by me a few times, but I felt I could get back and try to make him change his shot."

The Red Raiders tied the score three times after halftime before they took their first lead of the second half.

Mitchem was fouled as he converted a steal into a lay-up with 48.9 seconds remaining, then made the free throw to put East up, 55-54.

The Orientals had two chances to answer Magee's tip-in, but Mitchem turned the ball over both times.

"The first (time) I got bumped, fell and there was no foul call," said Mitchem. "It would've been a one-and-one, but you don't always get things the way you want it.

"I should've had the ball in my hands on the last possession. When I looked, (Quinn Smith Jr.) was wide open under the basket. McAdam closed on him quick (and stole the ball)."