Jan 08, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Twice before this season, the Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball team had been taken to the wire. Both times, the Red Rams had met defeat.
So when Brandon Triche saw his shot fall off target in the final seconds of last Saturday night’s spine-tingling battle with unbeaten Bishop Ludden in Geddes, the possibility of another painful defeat loomed — but only for a split second.
For that’s how long it took Mickey Davis to swoop in, grab the rebound and put in the basket with just two seconds to play, the points that made the difference as the Rams beat the Gaelic Knights 53-51 to end Ludden’s eight-game win streak.
This was J-D’s most important win of the season. Had it lost, knowing that it had squandered a seven-point fourth-quarter lead, it would not have sat well.
Instead, the Rams are boosted again, knowing that Ludden will have to visit them on Jan. 18 and that another possible meeting would come in the Section III Class A playoffs, likely on a neutral court.
Davis really had carried the Rams down the stretch in this game. Down 43-40 when the fourth quarter began, the J-D senior reeled off seven of his 15 points in an 11-1 run that gave his team a 51-44 edge midway through the period.
Undaunted, Ludden clamped down on defense, forced turnovers and caught up. Kevin Roy’s 3-pointer made it 51-49, and a clean steal by Daquan Grobsmith led to Wendall Williams’ tying basket with a minute to play.
Now tied 51-51, and with the capacity crowd at Ludden at full throat, J-D worked with the ball for what would prove to be the last shot of regulation.
Triche, as expected, had the ball and was going to drive. The Gaelic Knights had several fouls to give, but didn’t use any of them as Triche drove, then shot with five seconds left.
As the ball came off the rim to the left, Davis, in perfect position, swooped in, then quickly took his own shot that found the net. Ludden had time-outs left, but didn’t use them as a desperation shot fell short at the buzzer.
J-D overcame a comparatively quiet effort by Triche, who had 13 points, well below his average. Both Davis and center Nick Pascale stepped up with 15 points apiece to lead the way.
Ludden had led through most of the first half before J-D closed on an 11-2 run to go up, 32-28, at the break. The lead then changed hands seven times in the third period before the Gaelic Knights went back in front, setting up the exciting final act.
Frank Smith, lined up against Pascale, led his side with 10 points, adding eight rebounds. J-D’s defense kept Grobsmith and Williams from getting too hot, as they finished with nine points apiece.
A night earlier, J-D showed little mercy against its neighbors from East Syracuse-Minoa, crushing the Spartans 91-30.
Playing for the first time since its third-place showing at the White Plains Slam Dunk Invitational, the Rams had a large lead before ESM even got a basket, were up 26-5 by the end of the first quarter and cruised all the way.
Pascale led with 16 points, as Triche and Greg Stern each got 11 points in minimal minutes. Davis had nine points, as did Marcus Williams and Zach Firestone in long stints off the bench, while Alshwan Hymes got eight points. Joe Saya (10 points) and Andy Raymond (nine points) led ESM’s effort.
As the Spartans host Chittenango and Cortland this week, J-D plays a tough Tuesday game at Fowler and hosts Fulton before meeting Cicero-North Syracuse Saturday night at 7:45 in the Coaches vs. Cancer Challenge at LeMoyne College.