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02.08.07

Downey's mastery avenges earlier loss

Junior scores 26 as Comets lose first league game


James Johnson
Staff writer


(February 8, 2007) PERINTON Kyle Downey was shut down once by Rush-Henrietta, but that was not about to happen two games in a row.

Not if Downey could do anything about it Wednesday night.

"After the first game I was motivated," Downey said about Fairport's loss to Rush-Henrietta earlier this season. "Any loss I'm a part of, I'm always mad."

Downey was clearly fired up as he scored 26 points to lead the Red Raiders over Rush-Henrietta this time, 67-59 in front of about 1,600 people at Fairport.

The Red Raiders (14-3 overall, 10-1 league) handed Rush-Henrietta (14-2, 10-1) its first loss to a Section V team this season, and now can earn a share of the Monroe County Division I title with the Royal Comets.

Downey, Fairport's and the Monroe County League's leading scorer with 21.9 points per game, also had 10 rebounds.

"All of them seem to be big ones," said Fairport coach Scott Fitch. "He has that temperament, that personality.

"He's a leader."

Tyler Launer, Fairport's 6-foot-6 senior center, was active, and thus a key player for the Red Raiders with 17 points and six blocked shots.

Launer dug up loose balls, stood tough against hard charges to the basket and generally continued his recent uptick in performance.

"It was amazing," Launer said after Fairport cheerleaders chanted his name. "We felt that we had something to prove and we came out and proved it, which was big for us.

"We just weren't ready for them, the first time. Tonight, we were ready."

Dane Miller, a 6-6 sophomore, finished with 21 points to lead Rush-Henrietta. It was five less than his output during his team's 60-55 home win on Jan. 10.

But Miller wasn't nearly as dominant this time because of Fairport's defensive effort.

The Royal Comets scored just eight points in the third quarter, that was stamped by a 13-1 Fairport run. Miller and Rush-Henrietta senior guard Ricky Reed (eight points) would later foul out.

"In the third quarter we didn't have a lot of ball movement or player movement," said Rush-Henrietta coach Chris Reed. "There was a lot of dribble, dribble and we took some bad shots.

"In the fourth quarter, we started to get the ball inside to Dane more."

Rush-Henrietta, which trailed 47-39 at the start of the fourth quarter, cut Fairport's advantage to three points twice during the period.

A leaner by Miller made the score 57-54 with two minutes remaining, but all that did was trigger a 6-0 spurt by the Red Raiders. Kevin Borden (seven points) made two free throws and a layup as the shot clock expired to kick-start the push.

"They were sharp," Miller said. "When there was a loose ball, they went for them and we didn't.

"Downey had a great game. We couldn't hold him. He's definitely one of the best players in Section V, no doubt."

When the basketball rivals met the first time this season, Downey finished with 12 points, but none in a fourth quarter that included a 9-0 Rush-Henrietta run that won the game for the Royal Comets.

"I got a lot more touches this game," Downey said. "Last game, I felt like I had to shoot it when I got it.

"A big part of the credit goes to my teammates.

"I had a good feeling before the first game. I had an even better feeling this game."

JAMESJ@DemocratandChronicle.com 

 

Photos by Jamie Germano