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02/09/06

February 9, 2006

Fairport earns a solid victory over rival R-H

Sal Maiorana
Staff writer

It wasn't going to be like so many of Fairport's recent visits to Rush-Henrietta, when the Red Raiders couldn't quite match up with the Royal Comets.

Having beaten Rush-Henrietta last month to snap a seven-game losing streak against its nemesis, Fairport strutted into the Royal Comets' jam-packed gym Wednesday night and further stated its case as Monroe County's best team with a solid 62-55 victory.

"That last game was definitely a confidence boost because we hadn't beaten them since my freshman year," said 6-foot-8 senior Cory Magee. "And we hadn't won here in a long time, so we came in here with a lot of confidence tonight."

Never was that more evident than in the last few minutes when the Red Raiders (15-1 overall, 10-0 in Monroe County Division 1) nearly blew a 13-point fourth-quarter lead before Magee and fellow senior Corey McAdam stemmed the tide with clutch play at both ends of the floor.

"I think that confidence comes from your seniors, and we've had great senior leadership all season," said Fairport coach Scott Fitch. "They have a different confidence about them and they feel like they can compete with anybody."

The Red Raiders broke away from a 30-26 halftime lead by making five 3-pointers during a 25-point third-quarter eruption that extended their advantage to 55-42.

But Rush-Henrietta (13-3, 8-2) made a strong run in the fourth quarter to whittle the deficit to 57-55 with 1:40 left to play, only to have McAdam make the key play of the game.

With Rush-Henrietta star Calvin Betts draped on him, McAdam somehow wiggled into the lane and threw up a scoop shot that rolled around the rim and dropped for a 59-55 lead with 1:05 remaining.

"Calvin went for a pump fake and I thought I had the foul and the two shots so I just threw it up and sometimes those roll in," said McAdam, who led the Red Raiders with 25 points.

Rush-Henrietta didn't score again and after Magee cleaned up the last couple of his 11 rebounds, McAdam knocked down 3 of 4 free throws in the final 34 seconds to ice the victory.

"It seems like whenever we play them they get a run. You just never know when it's coming," said Fitch. "I was a little disappointed because I think we helped them make that run. We took some quick shots and we didn't play very smart. But this whole week I talked about mental toughness and we withstood the punch and we were able to get better as the quarter went on."

The Royal Comets struggled most of the night on offense as Fairport used a variety of defenders on Betts and held him to seven points, none coming in the game's final 15 minutes.

"He's a strong kid," said Magee. "Whoever we had on him, they did a great job and then everyone did a great job helping on him."

Ozell Franklin, a 6-foot-2 junior, ignited Rush-Henrietta's rally by scoring nine of his team-high 21 points in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't quite enough.

"They made more plays than we did when it mattered," said R-H coach Chris Reed.

source: Rochester D&C