Fairborn ends run at Baker with 20-point win


FAIRBORN — The sound of the final buzzer meant all that would remain of Fairborn basketball at Baker Middle School are memories.

Before Tuesday’s game ended, the Skyhawks boys basketball team created one more against rival Xenia.

Fairborn turned up the pressure in the second half and pulled away from Xenia in the fourth quarter to win 65-45 in the final game of the regular season and the program’s last at its home of 68 years.

“When I got the job and Mr. Alexander took me on a tour, I looked around and I said I can tell if this place is packed it can create a crazy environment,” first-year head coach Ricky Alstork said. “Tonight was a prime example of guys and fans coming in and just creating one last memory of Baker and it was a beautiful one to be against our rival.”

An effortless 36-point game by senior Taiyou Williams continuously got the capacity crowd on its feet in what was a final celebration of Fairborn basketball’s longtime gym. Most of the school’s commemorations came during its previous game on Saturday, but the opportunity to take in the final game was firmly taken advantage of by everyone in attendance.

The team snapped a portrait in front of the primary scoreboard and fans lingered on the court while sharing memories, some new and some old.

Williams shared the game he just played with his career-high performance in points was one of his immediate favorites, in addition to the team’s comeback win against Stebbins last season.

Fairborn athletic director Kevin Alexander said some of his involved getting to see the area’s star athletes visit Baker over the years and create a buzz amongst the crowds which came out to see them.

“This community really supports Fairborn athletics,” he said. “They support the teams here whether it’s a good year or down.”

Tuesday saw a tight game play out through the middle of the third quarter before Fairborn began to take control.

Xenia kept its deficit between two and five points for much of the game before a 10-2 run to close out the third gave Fairborn its first lead of double-digits in the game.

Unlike other recent games, the Skyhawks made sure its lead continued to grow in the final period by producing another run punctuated by a breakaway slam from Sean Townsend and a three drained by Williams in transition.

“With it being the last game at Baker, we wanted to create a statement win and give us some momentum going into tournament play trying to play our best basketball as possible,” Alstork said. “The beautiful part about this is we probably played more guys tonight than we got to all year and it was good for them to test themselves on the floor in front of our crowd which showed up tonight.”

The remainder of Fairborn’s games will come on neutral floors as it begins sectional tournament play next week.

Next season is scheduled to get underway in early December as the team moves over to its new facility at the under-construction high school which opens in August.

Alexander said the gym will have a new floor, a video scoreboard installed and reserved seating that already has limited availability remaining.

It also brings the excitement for the school’s teams to finally play at its own campus.

“Every game since I’ve been here for basketball is really an away game,” Alexander said. “I have to leave the high school to come here, and that’s what I look forward to most is getting to go to a home game where I can walk out of my office and into an arena and letting everyone else experience that too.”

Baker Middle School had its share of history. The type of gym found in many areas of nearby Indiana that have come to be known as “Hoosiers”-like buildings.

As the doors close at Baker and new ones prepare to be opened, Tuesday produced a final memory that Skyhawks will smile back on about its 68-year home.

Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on X (formerly Twitter) @Steven_Wright_.

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