Blessed with lots of young talent, the Jamesville-DeWitt girls basketball team went into the 2006-07 season in an upward direction.
The Red Rams went 14-6 a season ago, but were surprised at home by Oneida, 50-49, in the Section II Class A-2 quarterfinals.
Tough as that defeat was, J-D, with all five of its starters back, has used it as motivation for this season, which began with a full week of activity and a possible reunion with Oneida as part of the annual J-D Tip-Off Tournament.
That reunion never took place -- but the Rams didn't mind, instead beating Central Square and, in a last-second drama, Fayetteville-Manlius for the title.
Each game was quite different from the other, as in the opening round the Rams were able to light up the board in a 64-50 win over Central Square.
Against a Red Hawks team willing to run, J-D did so, overwhelming Central Square in a decisive second quarter where it erupted for 28 points to the opponent's total of nine.
Brittany Cohen led the way, with 21 points, while Amanda Koenck had 13 points and Danielle Weekes earned 12 points. Alyssa Gratien threw in nine points. In defeat, Central Square's Katie Hart earned 26 points.
In the other opening-round game, F-M drained Oneida, 51-28, overcoming a slow start to dominate the second half as Torie Lee poured in 16 points. Oneida would top Central Square 57-45 in the consolation game.
This led to Saturday night's final, a neighborhood clash between J-D and F-M. And the Red Rams would survive it, relying on guile and good fortune to rally past the Hornets by a score of 38-36.
Points were precious in a contest where neither side was sharp, but the Hornets did put together a 23-13 lead by the early part of the third quarter and looked to be coasting.