Farifax moves on past Desert Mountain

It is a special time for Fairfax High School's basketball program, as the school's first ever senior class will now be playing for the state championship on Friday evening at Glendale's Jobing.com Arena.

Fairfax HS 6-foot-6 senior post Marcel Govan would ignite his team with 17 points in their big semi-final victory Wednesday evening.
The opportunity will be the school's first of it's kind in the school's four year history. This opportunity developed through hard work and a strong belief by the Fairfax team and it's coaching staff in themselves. Led by the play of it's two senior captains, talented 6-foot-4 senior combo-guard Pierre Newton and 6-foot-6, 235-pound senior post Marcel Govan, Fairfax would not be defeated Wednesday evening.

Going into Wednesday's 5A Division-II semi-final match-up between #3 seed Fairfax High School (22-7)and #2 seed Desert Mountain HS (21-8), it was already determined that this would be a very interesting game of playing styles. And it become even more interesting as Fairfax would lead the game from start to finish, and advance to this year's championship game with a 60-56 victory.

Both teams would look to establish themselves early in the game, as both teams would feel each other out in the first period, before a three-pointer from 6-foot-3 senior Jovan Wright would give Fairfax a 9-6 lead at the end of the quarter. Another three-pointer by Wright would give Fairfax a 15-9 lead in the second period with 4:30 left to play in the half.

Desert Mountain would storm back behind the play of 6-foot-1, 190-pound senior guard Randy Azuogu, as he would score consecutive baskets for the Wolves and tie the game at 15 all.

Then Marcel Govan, while not being known for his perimeter skills, would knock down two-straight perimeter jump shots, including a three-pointer to give Fairfax a 22-21 lead just before the half.

But 6-foot-3 sophomore guard Diego Magana would chip in with a basket just before the buzzer to give Desert Mountain a one-point, 23-22, lead at the half.

Desert Mountain's Azuogu would lead all scorers in the first half with 13 points, while Marcel Govan's 9 points would be a team-high.

Fairfax would get it going in the game's third period behind the versatile play of Pierre Newton, as Newton would ignite the Stampede's offense. A three-pointer late in the period by 6-foot junior guard Jeremy Sakkas and then a driving layup by Newton at the buzzer would give Fairfax it's biggest lead of the game.

Fairfax would then take the game's momentum into the fourth period. In the fourth, the game's biggest play of the game would take place as 5-foot-9 junior point guard Lejon Johnson would complete a serious crossover dribble move against his defender and then complete the great move with a three-pointer. The basket would give Fairfax an even bigger lead in the game, as Fairfax wold take a 12-point lead, 46-34, in the fourth period.

With Desert Mountain fighting hard to close the scoring gap late, Govan would take his turn and score consecutive baskets inside to give Fairfax a 57-47 lead with a mere 1:20 left to play.

Desert Mountain would not go down easy though, as 6-foot-6 junior forward Austin Cooke would catch fire and pump in three consecutive three-point attempts to pull Desert Mountain within two-points, 58-56.

But Pierre Newton, as he has done all season long, would calmly go to the free-throw line and knock down both free throws to give Fairfax a big 60-56 semi-final victory.

Newton would finish the game with a game-high 18 ponts, while Govan would finish with 17 points. Jovan Wright would finish with 12 points in the victory and Lejon Johnson would contribute 10 of his own.

Randy Azuogu would finish with a team-high 17 points and Austin Cooke would score 14 points in the loss.

Fairfax will now move on to face Chaparral HS Friday evening for the 5A Division-II state championship game at Jobing.com Arena.