News  > Boys Varsity > Section V Class AAA Finals - Rush Henrietta



H.S. basketball: Fairport defends Class AAA title

Red Raiders pull away to top R-H

James Johnson
Staff writer

(March 4, 2007) Fairport fell to Rush-Henrietta in two of their three meetings during the regular season.

But the Red Raiders won a fourth matchup, the most important, after they learned lessons from the previous battles with their rival.

Fairport swingman Kevin Borden was left open to shoot Saturday night during the Section V Class AAA Tournament final, and he made top-seed Rush-Henrietta pay in a 64-54 Fairport win at Blue Cross Arena.

Borden finished with a game-high 20 points as he made 4 of 6 3-point shot attempts, and tournament Most Valuable Player Kyle Downey added 14 points and seven rebounds for second-seeded Fairport.

"We had a lot of confidence going into this game," Borden said. "Every game this year, we had a lead in the fourth quarter but we had turnovers and they capitalized on them."

The Red Raiders (19-3) limited their mistakes, as they had seven turnovers, played their usual tenacious defense and outscored Rush-Henrietta (20-3) 21-8 in the fourth quarter to repeat as champions.

Rush-Henrietta 6-foot-7 inch sophomore Dane Miller had 16 points and 13 rebounds.

"He likes to play near the basket," Borden said. "In practice, I've been playing at the top of the key. They gave me open looks and I was hitting. My teammates got me the ball, that helped a lot."

The score was tied five times during the fourth quarter, none after Borden, a 6-2 senior, made his fourth and final 3-pointer to break a 53-53 deadlock with 1:47 remaining.

"He was huge," Downey said. "That was our game plan. We wanted to make Miller work, so Kevin stretched him out and kept hitting his shots."

Section V's lineup of championship games on Saturday attracted 11,181 people.

Disturbances inside and outside Blue Cross Arena led to rumors that the Class AAA final between Rush-Henrietta and Fairport, the evening's highlight matchup, would be postponed. Fans, however, were let into the building about 30 minutes before the scheduled start.

Borden gave Fairport an eight-point lead early in the second quarter when he made his second 3-pointer of the game. The Royal Comets worked the rest of the quarter to tie the score 25-25 on a reverse lay up by Miller, who also picked up three fouls during the half.

David Kozar gave the lead back to Fairport, 28-25, with a 3-pointer, and the score remained 28-25 at halftime. Borden's 10 points led Fairport, while Darnell Parker and Miller each scored six for Rush-Henrietta.

Rush-Henrietta and Fairport traded the lead four times during the first seven minutes of the third quarter. The Royal Comets were ahead at the period's conclusion after Ozell Franklin made a 3-pointer before the buzzer.

Neither team built a lead larger than two points during the first half of the fourth quarter.

"We just had to keep at it," Downey said. "They got a lead for four or six minutes. We were doing some one-on-one stuff. Once we got back to the team play, we started to hit shots."

Rush-Henrietta emerged from a timeout with 1:19 remaining, and turned the ball over when it was ruled that Dezerick Brooks stepped out of bounds before he drove to the basket.

Downey then spun to the basket and hit a runner over a defender to push Fairport's lead to 58-53.

Reed went to the free throw line for Rush-Henrietta with 41.8 seconds to go and missed the first attempt. He did make the second, cutting Fairport's advantage to four points.

Borden went to the free-throw line and made two shots with 40.8 seconds remaining to make the score 60-54. Miller attempted a 3-pointer that was too long, and Downey sealed Fairport's win with two more free throws.

The Red Raiders move on to a state tournament qualifier Wednesday against Class AA champion Greece Athena, at a site to be determined after Section V officials decided late Saturday to pull the scheduled games from Blue Cross Arena.

The winner then faces Section VI champion Sweet Home, which upset Niagara Falls, 66-64, at 3 p.m. next Sunday.

Rush-Henrietta beat Fairport twice at home, once during their first regular-season game and again during the Monroe County Tournament. The Red Raiders won the regular-season matchup at Fairport.

And who did the Red Raiders beat last year to claim their first sectional basketball title in more than 30 years? Rush-Henrietta. 



Photos by Jen Rynda, Rochester D&C


Photos by Jen Rynda, Rochester D&C



Photos by Jen Rynda, Rochester D&C


Photos by Jen Rynda, Rochester D&C