Fairport came into its NAC matchup with Badger knowing how much was on the line. The Skippers weren’t worried about just the conference matchup Feb. 7 but playoff seeding, as well.
They took the lead going to the fourth, and the Skippers had a three-point advantage with less than three seconds left. But Duncan Moy had enough time to put up a 3-pointer over three defenders that fell and forced overtime.
Fairport again got out to a quick start in the extra period but Badger kept the contest within a score. Free throws by Jan and Yomar Castellano pushed it to a five-point lead. Moy made another 3 and Badger trailed by two with just over three seconds left.
The Skippers survived a turnover and one last Badger 3-point attempt sailed wide, giving Fairport a 79-77 victory. The Skippers are 13-4 and have won eight straight.
The teams began the contest trading 3-pointers. Yomar had three in the first half for Fairport while Moy and Lewis Flowers responded with three of their own.
But when the Skippers needed a big shot to keep the game close, they turned to Trystun Doeing. The senior finished with a team-high 22 points and had six 3-pointers
One of the 3-pointers came just before the half and another was with under a minute left in the fourth that made it a four-point Fairport lead.
“A lot of the credit goes to my teammates for getting me the ball a lot,” Doeing said. “The were able to find me in the corner, we’ve been calling it T’s corner this year since that’s my spot. They tell me keep shooting even if I miss. They have the confidence in me and they boost my confidence a lot.”
The Skippers’ leading scorer, James Gadomski, had a quiet night with just nine points, seven of which were in overtime. Along with Doeing, Fairport needed some more strong scoring nights.
Enter Yomar and Jan Castellano. The brothers combined for 33 points and were 10 of 12 from the free-throw line.
Fairport took the lead, 41-40, after Parsons rebounded a missed 3 and had the put back in the middle of the third quarter and held the lead the rest of the way. Coach Dustin Ettinger said Gadomski’s impact was felt on defense.
“We knew if we could take away Duncan Moy as much as possible, our four could contend with their four,” Ettinger said. “With shooters like Trystun on the wing and in the corner, he’s been getting in early and getting 100 shots up from each corner before school. Same with Yomar on the drives and kicks and Jan in the mid-range and layups.”
With Moy in foul trouble, Bader had the trio of Flowers, Preston Geracitano and Jack Harnett combine for 35 points and the lead in range. All three had big shots fall with Moy on the bench.
Badger fouled Yomar off of a turnover with just over three seconds left and sent him to the free-throw line with Fairport up by two. He made the first but missed the second and Badger came away with the loose ball.
Moy got the inbound pass and hit the 3 that sent the game to overtime. Yomar came to the huddle but his teammates didn’t let him keep his head down and coach Ettinger had a simple message to his team before the extra frame.
“James was in foul trouble very early in the game so we knew the guards had to take over early,” Yomar said. “I kept attacking my matchup and just had to finish. My teammates kept my head high, James and Josh (Parsons) are great captains. They helped me stay in the game and knock those two free throws down.”
Ettinger added: “Going into overtime we knew Duncan was going to get the ball in his hands. In his area of the state, he’s the star in D-IV. For us, we were going to play straight-up defense, pester him and force him to take bad shots. We needed to take care of our possessions. They were playing down in overtime and we needed to take care of our business and slow down as much as possible.”
The Skippers went on a quick 5-0 run to open overtime, when Gadomski’s shots started to fall. But Badger also continued to battle with Moy leading the way with his 30 points. Both Jan and Yomar found their way to the free-throw line again as Fairport held the lead.
The pair were perfect from the line in overtime and Yomar’s shots gave Fairport a two-possession lead. But Moy came down the court and hit a corner 3 that made it within two points but that was all Badger was able to muster.
Fairport turned up its defensive intensity in the second half, when it created 11 of its 14 turnovers. Jan knew that while Badger had multiple strong players, the Skippers’ aggression would keep the ball out of their hands and limit their looks later in the contest.
“We came in with a strong defensive mindset,” Jan said. “We wanted to lock up Duncan since we know he’s averaging about 30 but we came into the game wanting to play strong defense. We wanted to create steals and that’s what we did.”
Fairport aims to make it nine wins in a row when St. John visits on Feb. 9 for another NAC matchup.
Fairport 79, Badger 77 (OT)