Published: March 07, 2006
By Nate Beutel
The Niagara Falls Wolverines will have a
front row seat at 8:45 p.m. tonight at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester when
the Fairport Red Raiders meet the Greece Athena Trojans in the Section V Class
AAA-AA crossover game.
After a pair of hard practices, Niagara Falls coach Dan Bazzani decided to
give his team the day off and bring them along to scout out its potential
opponents for the New York State Far West Regional Championship at 6:30 p.m.
on Saturday at Buffalo State College.
Wednesday’s matchup features two very interesting teams.
Fairport Red Raiders (Class AAA)
Fairport (20-1) is a very balanced team with a multitude of solid players
including sensational guard Corey McAdam and Canisius College-bound big man
Corey Magee. McAdam scored 18 points and was named tournament MVP in the Red
Raiders 52-50 win over rival Rush-Henrietta in the Class AAA final.
According to Jeff DiVeronica, a high school sports writer for the Rochester
Democrat & Chronicle, McAdam is the team leader, while Magee is a dominant
“Fairport has two players. McAdam is really in control out there as a guard
and Magee is 6-foot-7, which is a difficult matchup for any team,” he said.
Fairport’s lineup also includes another big man in 6-foot-5 senior Kelly
Condello. Rounding out the short rotation are role players Mark Bruce, Owen
Reilly and Kyle Downey.
The Red Raiders, who’s only loss coincidentally came at the hands of Niagara
Falls at the Cataract Classic in early December, have won 18 straight games
including three over Rush-Henrietta as well as a 68-57 overtime win over the
Trojans in the championship game of the Edison Tournament.
Following last Saturday’s victory, McAdam said that those wins have given
Fairport the confidence necessary to get as far as it has.
“We have the confidence. It comes from hard work in practice and from playing
good teams in the regular season,” he said.
Greece-Athena Trojans (Class AA)
The Trojans, better known for their team manager Jason McElwain — the 17-year
old autistic senior that has caught the nation by storm with his 20-point
performance in the Trojans regular season finale, have a pretty darn good
basketball team as well.
Athena is led by it’s three-headed senior guard combination of Steve Kerr,
Lavar Goff and Rickey Wallace. All three average in double-figures as the
Trojans have a mentality to out-gun their opponents.
“They don’t have a lot of height, but those three guys are all good scorers,”
DiVeronica said. “They just try to outscore their opponents.”
That lack of height could be a problem against Fairport, but that do have that
great backcourt that includes a streaky shooter in Kerr, the brother of former
Syracuse star John Wallace in Rickey and the dynamic Lavar Goff.
“We have great senior leadership in Levar Groff, Ricky Wallace and Steve Kerr
— they’ve been outstanding all year,” Greece Athena coach Jim Johnson said
following the Trojans 54-41 Class AA championship win over Irondequoit last
Keys to the game
For Greece Athena to continue its improbable run, they will need to play to
its best ability. With its lack of size, containing Magee will certainly be
one of the primary concerns for the Trojans. Even if they sit back in a zone,
they have to be alert of the Red Raiders shooters (McAdam, Downey).
Offensively, Athena needs to find a way to get huge performances out of all
three of its sensational senior guards.
DiVeronica says it’s simple for Fairport, play to your capability and you’ll
get that rematch with the Wolverines.
“Fairport is going to win. They are the better team. They’re well-coached.
They have that height and they just play so smart.”
- Who: Fairport (20-1) vs. Greece Athena (16-5)
- What: Section V Class AAA-AA crossover game
- When: 8:45 p.m. today
- Where: Blue Cross Arena (Rochester)
- On the line: A date with Niagara Falls in the New York State Far West
Regional Championship on Saturday at Buffalo State College