For the first time since it won a state championship there in 2004, the Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball team made a return to the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Judging by what it accomplished there, the Red Rams have the look of a team with every intention of going back there in three months' time - when state titles are on the line again.
Not intimidated at all by facing Section II power Bishop Maginn in last Saturday's Coaches vs. Cancer Challenge, J-D grabbed a double-digit lead, then held on at the end to beat the Golden Griffins by a score of 68-66.
Bishop Maginn represented the kind of foe J-D had in mind when it put its 2007-08 schedule together -- an ideal test after a long series of one-sided OHSL Freedom division match-ups.
Maginn made it all the way to the state Class AA championship game in Glens Falls last March before falling to Mount Vernon and has enough talent back to think it can go back again.
As for the Rams, the trip had a good and bad aspect to it. The good part was that Mickey Davis had returned to the lineup after missing the team's first three games, with the bad part being that the team had played just the night before (a 72-44 romp over Phoenix) and could face fatigue.
None of that showed in the early going, though. Davis and Greg Stern both hit early on outside shots, taking full advantage of the lavish defensive attention Maginn (like so many other foes) gave to Brandon Triche.
By halftime, J-D held a 37-29 lead, and the margin grew to 12 at one point in the third period before the Rams started to cool off -- allowing Maginn to make its comeback.
All through the homestretch, J-D watched as the lead dwindled to two. After an exchange of free throws in the final seconds of regulation, Maginn had one more chance to tie it -- but Taran Buie's jumper, just inside the 3-point line, bounced twice on the rim and fell off, and the Rams had prevailed.