Fairport looks for end to 31-year dry
|(February 18, 2006) — The
Fairport Red Raiders can say, "We're No. 1" before Section V's upcoming
Class AAA Boys Basketball Tournament.
An unbeaten record against area teams, including wins over City-Catholic
champion East and Monroe County league rival Rush-Henrietta, helped
Fairport (17-1) earn the No. 1 seed in AAA.
What the Red Raiders really want is to chant, "We're No. 1" after the
tournament final, March 4 at Blue Cross Arena. No Fairport team has done
that at the Rochester Community War Memorial in 31 years.
"There's definitely a lot of excitement,'' Fairport coach Scott Fitch
said. "We're glad that we're the No. 1 seed.
"There's no reason why we can't do it, but you still need a lot of things
to go your way.''
Fairport has reached sectional finals three of the last four seasons.
"My first three years we made the finals and played three different
teams,'' Fitch said. "We just couldn't win it.''
Democrat and Chronicle file
Scott Fitch has coached No. 1 seed
Fairport (17-1) to the finals
three of the
last four seasons.
This year's version of the Red Raiders seem
They have allowed opponents to score an average of 48.4 points a game. No team
has scored 65 points against the Red Raiders all season.
Cory Magee, a 6-foot-8 senior who has committed to Division I Canisius
College, gives Fairport a strong rebounder and shot changer near the basket.
Corey McAdam is a true point guard who has picked up his scoring lately.
McAdam, a senior who averages 17 points a game, scored 20 or more in
Fairport's final three regular- season games against Rush-Henrietta, Penfield
Fairport's lone loss was in December against defending state champion Niagara
Falls. The Red Raiders have won all 15 of their games since, including a 56-55
win Jan. 16 over East at the War Memorial.
"We haven't stayed stagnant,'' Fitch said. "We've kept improving.
"When you start coasting, that's when you can feel pressure.''
No. 2 seed Rush-Henrietta (15-3) and No. 3 East (17-3) could meet in the
semifinals if each team advances. Fairport could face No. 4 Gates Chili (10-8)
or No. 5 Webster Schroeder (10-8) if it makes it to the sectional final four.
The Red Raiders could be in position to end their wait for a new Section V
trophy, something that Irondequoit knows about. Irondequoit's 1945 version of
the prize is a lot smaller than the current ones. The Eagles (15-3) go for an
upgrade as the top seed in Class AA.
Section V's last unbeaten boys team through Jan. 5, Irondequoit won a share of
Monroe County's Division II title after a 10-10 finish last season.
This with a lineup without a player taller than 6-3 senior Dan Foley. What the
Eagles have is a chemistry that first began to bubble up in area summer
They also have guards Cory Humphries (18 ppg.) and Rashaad Stokelin to lead
Irondequoit's barrage of 3-point shots.
The Eagles took off to a 6-0 start after an 11-point win over highly regarded
Wilson in their season opener.
"I was a little apprehensive because we're not the biggest team,'' Irondequoit
coach Chris Cardon said. "We thought that we would have a good year. (The
players) were very motivated.
"These guys give you what they can. It's almost like Villanova. We have
problems matching up but we can be tough to match up with, too.''
The Eagles could have a bumpy path through the tournament, with league rivals
Greece Athena (1992) and Webster Thomas (1983) capable of ending their long
waits for a new sectional trophy.
East Rochester came close last year to winning its first title since 1963, but
probably played its worst game of the season during a 42-23 loss to Campbell-Savona
in the CC final.
The Bombers (16-3) are back, this time as the No. 1 seed in Class CCC, Wayne
County's Division II champions and four players with double-digit scoring
East Rochester's only losses are to state champion Sodus by one point, Lyons
by four and by five to Class CC No. 1 seed Freddie Thomas.