Mar 09, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Almost any time they take to the court, the Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball team is a feature attraction, tough to precede and impossible to follow.
But when the Red Rams made the short drive Saturday to play the last-ever Section III Class A final at Manley Field House against Utica-Notre Dame, it found itself in a rare supporting role.
J-D watched as CBA, the only team to beat them each of the last two seasons, made two different comebacks to stun Henninger in a 76-75 overtime epic to win the Class AA title, one of the greatest games in the long annals of Manley.
Whatever it did, the Rams weren’t going to top that one for drama and suspense. Instead, it took Utica-Notre Dame apart with speed, depth and power that the Jugglers simply could not match in an 86-60 victory.
This was J-D’s fifth sectional championship in eight years, a great feat unto itself. Of course, J-D is after a much higher goal, as it pursues back-to-back state Class A titles and, for the moment, looks impossible to stop.
Utica-Notre Dame came into the sectional final with a 19-4 mark and a proven star in junior Pat Moore, who already has surpassed 1,000 career points and is getting heavily pursued by NCAA Division I suitors.
J-D absorbed all this, then proceeded to try and wipe out the Jugglers in the opening minutes, roaring out to a 17-3 lead, much the same thing it had done to Oneida in the Feb. 28 semifinals (and to so many other opponents, too).
To its credit, UND, down 24-12 after one period, fought back within eight, 30-22, midway through the second quarter when Moore drained a 3-pointer.
All that did, though, was force the Rams to step up again on both ends. For the rest of the half, J-D allowed just one field goal as it built the lead back to 43-24, then kept pulling further away after the break.
The Rams’ size advantage mattered here. Freshman center DaJuan Coleman kept grabbing rebounds and converting them into baskets, an effort that produce 27 points, a new career high.
Just down the road from where he’ll be starring at Syracuse University next fall, Brandon Triche put together 22 points. Alshwan Hymes had nine points, while Steven Thomson and Lamar Kearse each got seven points. For UND, Moore had 18 points, while Jerrell Hunter got 16 points.
On Friday, J-D meets Malone (Section X) in the first of two regional games at Cicero-North Syracuse this weekend. Win them both, and the Red Rams get to return to Glens Falls for the state Class A final four and a shot at the fourth state title in the program’s history.