Dec 07, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Given what it has done in recent years, there is little the Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball team can aspire to — except history.
Only five previous times has a program won three consecutive New York State Public High School Athletic Association titles.
Now the Red Rams want to pull it off, matching what Peekskill did in the Class A ranks from 2005 to ’07 — in fact, Peekskill and J-D have split all six state championships, three each, since the current five-class format was established in 2004.
J-D beat Peekskill in an overtime classic for the 2009 crown in Glens Falls, allowing seniors Brandon Triche and Alshwan Hymes to leave on top.
Now Triche is starting for a Syracuse University team ranked in the nation’s top 10, and Hymes has gone to Canisius College. But the presence of center DaJuan Coleman and guard Lamar Kearse gives the Rams a chance at that historic three-peat.
The first big test would come in Saturday’s Peppino’s Invitational at Henninger High School against Rochester-area power Bishop Kearney, the ’09 state Class B champions that have moved up to the Class A ranks this winter.
On the newly-dedicated Joe Mazella Court, the Red Rams handled that examination with relative ease, dominating throughout an 89-76 victory over the Kings.
J-D made sure that Kearney never got too comfortable. Facing a rare 6-5 deficit in the first quarter, the Rams went to work. In the span of less than a minute, Demitrius Mitchell converted a three-point play, then Kearse hit on free throws and a pair of 3-pointers.
That ignited a 13-2 run, and the Rams were far from done. It strung together spurts of 14-3 and 11-3 in the second quarter and led by as much as 22 before settling into a 52-32 lead going into halftime.
Kearney never stopped working, but it only got as close as 12 points (71-59) early in the fourth quarter. J-D especially excelled on the perimeter, hitting on 13 3-point shots.
Kearse had three of those treys on his way to 27 points for the afternoon. Coleman had 18 points and 14 rebounds, while Mitchell got 19 points and six rebounds. Off the bench, Zach Firestone put up 13 points, including a trio of 3-pointers, and Jailaan Kinsey earned nine points.
Four nights earlier, J-D had debuted at Chittenango, and it was nothing less than a romp as the Red Rams bashed the Bears 93-38.
Eager to get started, J-D had Chittenango in a 29-5 hole by the end of the first quarter. The torrid pace continued all night, as the lead grew to 78-24 by the start of the final period. The only thing the Rams couldn’t do was reach the century mark on the scoreboard.
Kearse produced 24 points before going to the bench, while Coleman powered his way to 23 points. Tyler Cavanaugh had 11 points, while Mitchell and Armel Nanaj, with 10 points apiece, made it five J-D players scoring in double figures.
J-D has just one game this week, visiting East Syracuse-Minoa Thursday night.