By virtue of its 10-1 start and superb run to the CBA Holiday Tournament title, the Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball team ascended to the top spot in the state Class A rankings in the first days of 2007.
The euphoria did not last.
Just before halftime in the Dec. 30 final at CBA against Archbishop Molloy, Brandon Triche, the Red Rams' superstar sophomore guard, injured his left knee, yet continued to play as his team won and he grabbed tournament MVP honors.
Four days later, tests revealed that the injury was a torn anterior cruciate ligament, meaning that Triche is out for the rest of the season.
Head coach Bob McKenney said that Triche's knee swelled up in the hours after the Molloy game, and a visit to an orthopedic surgeon confirmed the ACL tear.
Such an injury requires at least six months of rehabilitation -- but as long as there are no further complications, Triche should return in time for the start of his junior season in 2007-08.
Having moved up to the varsity level in eighth grade, Triche has dazzled teammates, opponents and fans in his time at J-D.
He averaged 21.8 points per game as a freshman, leading all OHSL players, and was third among Section III players behind Brandon Dunn (West Canada) and Cody Lawson (Poland).
Through 10 games this winter, Triche was on that same pace, with 21.5 points per game, but had picked up his totals in assists, rebounds and steals, showing himself to be a more rounded player.
In Triche's absence, more will be expected from all of his teammates, from starters like Nick Pascale and Mickey Davis to new blood like sophomore Alshwan Hymes, who has been spectacular coming off the bench this season.
J-D's first game without Triche is Friday night, at East Syracuse-Minoa, after which it plays Fayetteville-Manlius in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic Saturday night at LeMoyne College.