The Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic boys basketball team got off to an early start Saturday with a morning shoot-around and followed suit once its game against Fairview actually started.
The Marauders turned the ball over just twice in the first half while building a double-digit lead that they clung onto in the final minute to win, 61-55, over the Tigers in the Bishop Guilfoyle Holiday Classic championship game at the Pleasant Valley Gymnasium.
"We have not been starting well," Bishop Guilfoyle coach Chris Drenning said. "One of the things we talked about this morning when going over the scouting report was that we've yet to play four quarters. We had to put 32 minutes together, and we finally did that tonight with a great start."
Damon Rickens played a large role offensively, scoring seven first-quarter points and a 3-pointer just before halftime that gave the Marauders a 30-18 advantage.
"We played a lousy game last night," Bishop Guilfoyle's C.J. Fulare said. "Our main goal was to get off to a fast start and get the win we really wanted."
Fairview scored the first six points of the second half, but as it did all night, Bishop Guilfoyle held the Tigers off. Fairview got as close as three points until the Marauders went on a 10-0 run to end the third quarter. Once again, Rickens nailed a trey to give BG its biggest lead in the final minute of the quarter.
With 4:46 left, Fairview's Ben Kocan made a layup while being fouled and completed the three-point play to pull the Tigers within four. Once again, the Marauders responded with a Brandon Chadbourn putback and two Sam McCloskey free throws.
McCloskey finished 9-for-10 from the free-throw line and scored 17 points, including two free throws with 19.4 seconds left that gave BG a four-point lead after Fairview had trimmed it to two.
Andy Niland missed a layup, but Jamey Brumbaugh missed a pair of free throws for BG to leave the door open. However, Kocan's 3-pointer came up short and the Marauders got the rebound to close out the game.
"They played a better game tonight, and they beat us," Fairview coach Keith Nies said. "My guys played hard, never gave up, but at the end we just didn't win. Guilfoyle beat us."
Bishop Guilfoyle improved to 4-1 while Fairview, one of the favorites to come out of District 10 in Class AA, dropped to 6-2.
"This is our best win to date," Drenning said. "No disrespect to any other teams, but they are a good team and well coached. Two even teams, but we made a couple plays, and hopefully it is a stepping stone to bigger and better things."
Fairview lost to BG in the championship for the second consecutive year.
"We love the people down here," Nies said. "From the alumni to the people who work here and the coaching staff, they treat us well. We have come here for three years, and it's a great opportunity for my boys to play against one of the better teams in this part of the state."
Game notes: Rickens led all scorers with 18 points and made the all-tournament team. ... Joining him were tournament MVP C.J. Fulare, McCloskey, Niland, United's Michael Gill and Bishop McCort's Nate Neiderhiser. Kocan won the hustle award. ... Marc Corbin led Fairview with 14 points.
FAIRVIEW (55): Coles 2 0-0 4, Kocan 3 3-3 10, Corbin 6 0-0 14 Niland 3 1-2 7, Jackson 4 2-2 10, Dewey 3 0-0 8, Rinderle 1 0-0 2. Totals - 22 6-7 55.
BISHOP GUILFOYLE (61): McCloskey 4 9-10 17, Chadbourn 2 0-0 4, Brumbaugh 1 2-4 4, Rickens 6 2-2 18, Fulare 5 3-5 13, Gormley 2 1-2 5, Kasun 0 0-0 0, Little 0 0-0 0, Fury 0 0-0 0, Kibler 0 0-0 0, Wolf 0 0-0 0, Kitt 0 0-0 0. Totals - 20 17-23 61.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Fairview9 9 13 24 - 55
Bishop Guilfoyle13 17 14 17 - 61
3-point goals: Fairview 5 (Corbin 2, Kocan, Dewey 2); Bishop Guilfoyle 4 (Rickens 4).
Records: Fairview (6-2); Bishop Guilfoyle (4-1).
Officials: Jim Cushion, Jim Klausman, Keith Redfoot.