Pardon the followers of the Chittenango boys basketball team if, for a time last Friday, they were all in the midst of a wonderful dream.
There stood the Bears, holding an 18-point lead on Jamesville-DeWitt, the state's top-ranked Class A team -- and they were doing it on the Red Rams' home court, no less.
Every Chittenango partisan, in and out of uniform, hoped the dream would turn into an earth-shaking upset -- but J-D prevented that, rallying from its possible disaster to beat the Bears 63-54.
Poor shooting by the Rams, combined with Chittenango's domination on the board, led to that fast start. The Bears tore to a 20-10 lead by the end of the first quarter, and did not let up.
Even though the margin dissipated a bit after it reached 18, the Bears still found itself clinging to a 36-24 advantage going into halftime, a remarkable feat for an 8-9 team against a 17-1 powerhouse.
Soon enough, that power began to show. J-D clamped down on defense to, started grabbing rebounds, and the shots began to fall as Chittenango cooled down.
By the start of the fourth quarter, the Bears' margin was down to one, 45-44, and the Rams didn't let up on either side of the floor until it had a comfortable lead of its own.
Chittenango showed nice offensive balance all night. Vincent Commisso led with 12 points, but Jeff Richardson and Chris Frascatore were right behind, with 10 points apiece. Heath Stone gained eight points, with Nick Bloom adding seven points and Ryan Bailey contributing six points.
Alshwan Hymes led J-D's rally, finishing with 21 points as Nick Pascale (14 points), Mickey Davis (13 points) and Sam Cieplicki (11 points) also reached double figures.
As has been the case most of the season, Chittenango found itself unable to string together back-to-back wins