Published: March 11, 2006 06:55 pm
BASKETBALL UPDATE: Falls beats Fairport, 68-59
Return trip to Glens Falls for Wolverines
SPORTS REPORTER JAY SKURSKI IS AT BUFFALO STATE FOR TODAY'S FAR WEST REGIONAL
AND IS FILING A QUARTERLY BLOG ON TONIGHT'S GAME:
END OF FIRST QUARTER:
NIAGARA FALLS 18, FAIRPORT 15:
Fairport controlled the opening tip at Saturday night's Far West Regional at
Buff State, but the Wolverines did a great job on their first defensive stand,
forcing the Red Raiders into a shot clock violation.
Anthony Marshall led Niagara Falls in the first quarter with eight points,
while Johnny Flynn had six.
Buff State's arena is packed with Fairport fans; I saw four busses pulling in
before the tip. Still a good crowd following the Wolverines, though. I'd say
it's just about evenly split and we'll put the total estimate at about 2,000.
Cory Magee and Corey McAdam each had four points for Fairport.
NIAGARA FALLS LEADS FAIRPORT, 29-27:
Fairport doesn't look too intimidated playing the reigning state and
Federation champs. It helps that the school's students brought their “A” game,
creating a sea of red under one of the baskets.
The Red Raiders turned it up defensively in the second quarter, switching to a
box-and-one on Niagara Falls star Johnny Flynn. Mark Bruce pulled the
difficult assignment and held the Syracuse-bound star to just two points in
the quarter. Flynn appears frustrated with the lack of calls he's getting.
Niagara Falls did get a call when Fairport's McGee laid out Niagara Falls'
Dennis Crittenden on what looked like a clean pick. When one of two refs made
the call, the Fairport bench went ballistic.
And while we're at it, why just two refs for a regional?
Fairport led, 25-20, with two minutes to go, but the Wolverines responded with
three straight three-pointers.
Looks like this one's going down to the wire.
THIRD QUARTER ENTRY:
NIAGARA FALLS 46, FAIRPORT 44:
Maybe it was coach Dan Bazzani's halftime pep talk. Maybe it was the Niagara
Falls pep band. Whatever it was, the Wolverines came out ready to rock in the
third quarter, using three more threes to take a 46-37 lead.
Fairport coach Scott Fitch was forced to call a timeout and Flynn left the
floor waving his arms as the Niagara Falls faithful went crazy.
Fitch's strategy must have worked, though, as the Red Raiders followed the
timeout with a 7-0 run that pulled them close.
This one is going to be a nail-biter.
FALLS TOPS FAIRPORT, 68-59
Maybe the refs had something against McGee. For the second time, he was
whistled for a seemingly clean pick, prompting another angry response from
Fitch. The coach settled down just before getting T'd up.
The refs let the kids play as their were plenty of plays that had each side
looking for a whistle.
Fairport fans waiting to see all the hype surrounding Flynn finally got to see
the real thing. With just under four minutes to go, the junior guard soared to
the basket and threw down one of the best dunks you'll see on any level off a
Tyrell Lynch miss. I'm pretty sure I even heard some Fairport fans cheering.
One fan cheered out, “best player in the state.”