A week was more than enough time for the Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball team to store up motivations for the start of its Section III Class A title defense.
First, the Red Rams were fuming from the end of its 38-game win streak at the hands of CBA on Feb. 13. Add to it the elbow that forced Alshwan Hymes' suspension for the first game of the sectional playoffs, and the motivation only grew.
Then J-D saw that Fowler would be its opponent in Friday night's Class A quarterfinals after the no. 9 seed Falcons eliminated no. 8 seed Bishop Ludden in the first round. Fowler's near-upset of the Rams back on Jan. 16 supplied another dose of adrenaline to a team that really didn't need any.
With all this in mind, J-D, short-handed without Hymes, went out Friday and, save for a second-quarter lapse, pretty much had its way with Fowler in an 85-60 romp.
When the Rams bolted to a 24-11 edge, the Falcons at first were not fazed. It played a strong second quarter, making up most ofthat deficit and only trailing 36-33 at halftime.
That's when J-D found that extra gear, a 25-9 spurt after halftime as both Brandon Triche and Lamar Kearse took turns blanketing Fowler with the baskets that made the difference.
Triche had 34 points, including 14 successful free throws. Kearse, taking a much larger role in Hymes' absence, got 19 points, while DaJuan Coleman earned 11 points. Fowler, in defeat, got 16 points from Ron Monroe and 14 points from Chris Gilkes.
J-D, with Hymes back on board, now goes on and faces no. 4 seed Oneida in the Class A semifinals, after the Indians beat Phoenix and Vernon Verona Sherrill to get this far.
The Indians (17-5) feature many players that were part of the football team's run to the state Class B finals, including Ryan Kramer, who is also Oneida's all-time leading basketball scorer.
If the Rams can handle Oneida, it will go to Manley Field House one more time March 7 to face Utica-Notre Dame or Whitesboro for the Class A championship.