J-D girls hoops ousted by Mexico again

In the Section III Class A quarterfinals, the Jamesville-DeWitt girls basketball team sought to advance -- only to see Mexico halt that advance.

Yes, that sounds familiar, for that's exactly what happened to the Red Rams in each of the previous two seasons -- that is, exits at the expense of the Tigers.

For the 2009 edition, the Red Rams had a great chance in the fourth quarter, only to wear down in those waning minutes as Mexico prevailed by a score of 58-46.

J-D hoped it would be different this season, a belief reinforced by the fact that it had won at Mexico back on Jan. 30, an in-season turning point that seemed to suggest that J-D was ready for a serious sectional title run.

But after battling past no. 11 seed Chittenango in the opening round Feb. 20, J-D found a far different Mexico squad this time.

Throughout the first half, the Red Rams watched as the Tigers strung together baskets in enough runs to steadily gain a 27-19 edge by the time they reached the break.

A solid defensive effort in the third period allowed J-D to close within five, 36-31, but Mexico stayed cool, then reclaimed control with key free throws down the stretch.

The Rams actually had a well-balanced attack, where Alyssa Gratien posted 12 points, Jessica Kramer earned 11 points and Theresa Hernandez earned 10 points. Chayla Love had five points.

Mexico won because it had a bit more depth behind Genna Tripoli (13 points, including three 3-pointers), Angie Josbena (12 points) and Cassi Hall (11 point). Evie Josbena chimed in with eight points.

So the Rams' season concluded with a 14-8 mark, pretty good given that it had only one senior (Molly Maroney) on the roster. The return of Gratien, Kramer, Hernandez, Love, Nicole Ortega and Michaelle Williams next year means that J-D can have title dreams again.

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