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R-H redemption hoops win powered by pride

Boys top Fairport to win Monroe County Tournament

James Johnson
Staff writer

(February 17, 2007) HENRIETTA Yes, the Section V Tournament seedings were set and the league division title winner already determined.

So would Rush-Henrietta and Fairport really go all out to beat each other in their third meeting of the season?

If you watched Rush-Henrietta teammates Dezerick Brooks and Ozell Franklin in the fourth quarter of their team's 62-51 win Friday night, the answer was clearly yes.

"That was a big win for us because two weeks ago we lost to them," Brooks said. "We wanted to get in our house and beat them."

The Royal Comets won the elite bracket of the Monroe County boys tournament after sophomore Dane Miller scored 21 points with 19 rebounds and Franklin produced 18 points at Rush-Henrietta.

Brooks added six points, including a key 3-pointer that pushed R-H's 50-48 lead to five points with 2:02 remaining. The shot from a corner, which brought Rush-Henrietta fans to their feet, was part of a 9-0 run for the Royal Comets.

That spurt was triggered by one of Franklin's four 3-pointers.

"When Ricky (Reed) passed the ball to me it felt like he had a lot of confidence in me," Brooks, a 6-foot-2 sophomore forward, said. "I just shot it. I don't really shoot 3s like that."

It was a wild moment during the fourth quarter in which Fairport not only chopped away an 11-point deficit, but twice took a one-point lead. Yes, you could tell the Red Raiders, led by a 24-point game from junior guard Kyle Downey, also wanted to win.

"It's still bragging rights," Fairport coach Scott Fitch explained.

Fairport held a lead as large as nine points during the first half, but then went scoreless the final 3:49 of the second quarter.

Another cold spell for Fairport and defensive adjustments by the Royal Comets resulted in an 11-point lead, 45-34, for Rush-Henrietta by the start of the fourth quarter.

But the Red Raiders were not finished.

Kevin Borden, who finished with 10 points, began a 12-0 run for Fairport with the second of his two 3-pointers. Downey closed the push when he hit his only 3-pointer, a pull-up jump shot, and turned a steal into a reverse layup.

Rush-Henrietta and Fairport traded the lead once, and Fairport was ahead 48-47 after two free throws by Brian Gebhardt (11 points) with 2:43 remaining.

Franklin then nailed a 3-pointer for the Royal Comets while standing two strides behind the 3-point line. Brooks swished his key long-range shot during Rush-Henrietta's next possession.

Rush-Henrietta led 56-48 after Miller made the free-throw attempt with 1:25 remaining. Miller put his arm around Brooks as the players walked off the court after the final buzzer.

"He played big the whole tournament," Miller said. "Last night, he hit the tying shot (against Batavia) to force overtime. If there's an MVP (for this tournament), he'll get it." 



Rochester D&C Photographs by Jay Capers







Rochester D&C Photographs by Jay Capers


Rochester D&C Photographs by Jay Capers



Rochester D&C Photographs by Jay Capers