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Mar 17 -- Class AA Semifinals

Bishop Maginn 68 - Fairport 63 - FINAL

Saturday, March 17, 2007 4:42 PM EDT

GLENS FALLS -- Bishop Maginn didn't have the lead until the third quarter.

When it finally did, it was no surprise who helped the Griffins get it in the decisive period.

Penn State-bound Talor Battle hit his first of two 3-pointers to give Maginn a 29-28 lead early in the third quarter. By the end of the period, his name was firmly etched into Fairport's collective mind.

Battle scored seven points and added three assists in the third, when Maginn outscored Fairport 26-7, en route to a 68-63 Maginn victory in the Class AA semifinal of the State Boys Basketball Tournament.

The Griffins (23-3) will play defending champion Mount Vernon in Sunday's final at 2:45 p.m.

Fairport led 28-22 at halftime, when Maginn coach Richard Hurley had clearly seen enough.

"I told them 'Let's start playing basketball,' " Hurley said. "We were stuck in the mud. We stood around and watched one guy dribbling."

Hurley said he also talked to Battle about playing more as a point guard and not worrying so much about getting his points. The end result was Battle having five assists to go with his 12 points.

Maginn had a 48-35 lead after three quarters, but the Red Raiders (21-5) outscored the Griffins 20-6 to regain the lead, 55-54, with 2:44 left. Terron Victoria (11 points) hit a jumper just 17 seconds later to give Maginn the lead for good.

From there, Maginn made 10 of 12 foul shots to secure the win. It finished 19 of 27 (70 percent)

"We've been at 59 percent (foul shooting) on the year," Hurley said. "We were pretty good down the stretch. What do coaches say? Free throws and defense win games. We're excited."

The Griffins had to shoot well from the charity stripe just to keep pace with Fairport, which made 16 of 17 for 94 percent.

Fairport coach Scott Fitch was proud of how hard his team played.

"We're competitors," he said. "You never want this ride to end. I thought we controlled the first half. In the third quarter our energy dipped a little offensively and defensively."

With Fairport holding Battle well below his season average, the Griffins needed others to step up, and they did, with four other players scoring in double figures. Shimeek Johnson contributed 14 points and eight rebounds. Taran Buie and Jalaun Taylor each scored 10 points.

"We don't really look at it as a starting five," Hurley said. "We've got seven or eight guys we use regularly."

Kyle Downey scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Fairport, which also got 19 points from Kevin Borden.