As it fought its way to a 14-2 record and a spot in the state Class A rankings, the Jamesville-DeWitt girls basketball was fueled by a bitter memory.
Back on Dec. 19, the Red Rams watched, at home, as Christian Brothers Academy marched in and produced a 75-47 victory. J-D resolved that, when the two sides met again, it would not be so lopsided.
Yet the Rams got the exact same treatment last Wednesday night, mostly victimized by the Brothers' uncanny ability to hit 3-point shots in a 69-42 decision.
Emphatic as ever, CBA, the state's no. 2-ranked Class A team, wrapped up the OHSL Freedom division title by taking full advantage of the Rams' mistakes, playing intense defense and, of course, sinking the treys -- 12 of them.
After a good exchange in the early minutes, the game swung permanently in the Brothers' favor when it went on a 17-1 run that stretched well into the second quarter. J-D went without a field goal for more than eight minutes.
What was scary about this assault was that CBA's main threat, 1,000-point scorer Amanda Billy, was cold in the early going, forcing her teammates to pick it up.
Sarah Paulus, Kayla Stroman and Leanne Ockenden gladly obliged. Stroman and Paulus were responsible for all of the Brothers' first 15 points, and Ockenden followed by hitting 10 of her 13 points in that 17-1 spurt.
Anytime J-D threatened to make a run of its own, the Brothers stopped it, as Stroman twice hit 3-point shots as the shot clock hit zero on her way to 14 points.
Billy found her shot in the second half and still finished with 13 points, and Paulus ran the offense with fearless confidence, combining 18 points with defensive hustle and crisp passes to set up open teammates.
Of those 12 3-pointers, Stroman hit four of them, with Ockenden and Billy getting three each. Paulus and Mary McGown also hit treys.
This again negated a fine effort by J-D center Danielle Weekes, who had 16 points. Brittany Cohen had nine points, while Caitlin Tessier added eight points and Alyssa Gratien got seven points. CBA's defense held Amanda Koenck off the scoreboard all night.