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.