FAIRFIELD — Fairfield High’s Javon Adams scored 17 points, but two of them were the biggest of the game.
Adams tipped in a missed shot with just 1 minute, 6 seconds remaining and the Falcons made key free throws in the closing minute to pick up a 68-62 win over San Marcos to claim the championship in the Fairfield Holiday Classic, Monday night.
“The kids are just tough as nails,” Falcons coach Eddie Wilson said. “They persevered and they play hard, they battle. We made a couple of defensive adjustments that help us, but the bottom line is the players made plays and I’m really proud of them.”
The Falcons held a slim 33-31 lead at the half, but found themselves down 50-43 after three quarters, with all the momentum in favor of the Knights, who were up 50-38 at one point.
But the Falcons closed the quarter on 5-0 run, then slowly chipped away, eventually tying the game at 60 on a free throw by Adams with 2:25 to play.
Fairfield took a 62-60 lead with 2:05 remaining when Sean Gray scored on a driving layup, but San Marcos answered to knot the score at 62.
Then Adams made the play of the night, soaring through the lane on a missed shot and banked in his eventual game-winner in one motion, sending the Falcon faithful into a frenzy.
“It’s a great win for us,” Wilson said. “I don’t know if the tournament element was that important, but playing well against a good team was important to us and I thought we did that.”
The game was tight throughout the first half. Neither team led by more than two points in the first quarter. Fairfield opened a six-point lead two times in the second period, the last on a driving basket by tournament MVP DeMoriaye Hart-Spikes, but San Marcos scored the half’s last four points to cut the deficit to two.
Hart-Spikes finished with 21 points, Adams had 17 and Sean Gray chipped in 12. Adams also had a game-high 14 rebounds.
The Falcons outrebounded the Knights 36-26, but were forced into 16 turnovers compared to the Knights’ 11.
Johnny McWilliams led San Marcos with a game-high 32 points and was named to the all-tournament team, as was the Knights’ other top scorer Ben Perez. Perez scored nine points in the opening quarter but got into foul trouble and didn’t score again, eventually fouling out.
Adams and Gray were also all-tournament selections for Fairfield.
The win was big for Wilson and Fairfield, but the coach wants to keep his players grounded.
“We try to keep everything on an even keel,” Wilson said. “We try to approach each game the same way. It’s another win, a big win against a team from Southern California, so we’ll use it to build and try to get better.”
In other action earlier in the day, Armijo finished fourth after falling to Oak Ridge 57-36. Victor Caldwell led the Indians with 10 points and Tyree Carrie added nine.
Vanden won the consolation championship, defeating Antelope 57-54 in overtime. DeMarre Walker led the Vikings with 19 points, while Ricky Garcia and Rashad Fisher each scored nine.
Reach Brian Arnold at 427-6969 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/barnolddr.