Mar 16, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
At least according to head coach Bob McKenney, when the Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball team won state Class A championships in 2004 and 2008, it did so as ambitious underdogs.
That’s certainly not the case now.
Following routs of MaloneFranklin and Scotia-Glenville in last weekend’s regional round at Cicero-North Syracuse High School, the Red Rams are back in the state final four at Glens Falls Civic Center, and anything less than another state title would be a disappointment.
Of the two games at CNS, the regional final against Section II champion Scotia-Glenville was supposed to provide the bigger challenge, since the Tartans had its own potent offense and a 6-10 presence in the paint with Jim Janson, who is going to LeMoyne College.
But once Alshwan Hymes started hitting 3-pointers and Janson got into foul trouble, yet another rout was in the making as the Red Rams blasted Scotia 90-61 to secure its latest trip to Glens Falls.
Much of the outside attention on J-D focuses on Brandon Triche. In turn, Hymes has gone virtually unnoticed by colleges, something McKenney said has motivated the senior guard to prove himself.
That wasn’t too difficult against Scotia. The Tartans laid back in a zone defense, determined to (1) bottle up freshman center DaJuan Coleman and (2) keep Triche from his patented drives to the basket.
The only problem was that it left Hymes open, and late in the first quarter, he started draining those long, high-arching 3-pointers, piling up six of them by halftime.
“He got into that shooter’s rhythm,” McKenney said. “He has confidence and is not afraid to take big shots.”
Despite this barrage, J-D only led 33-30 late in the second quarter, Hymes getting matched by Scotia’s Joe Ferrari, who his six 3-pointers of his own on his way to 25 points for the afternoon.
When Janson went to the bench with his third foul, though, the Tartans’ zone fell apart, and J-D sprung one of its patented all-out spurts that left Scotia gasping.
In less than three minutes, the Rams put up 14 unanswered points, eight of them from Triche, who twice dunked in this sequence as J-D seized a 47-30 advantage by halftime.
Scotia could only hold serve in the third quarter before the Rams, with a 19-5 start to the fourth quarter, closed out the Tartans.
By the time he went to the bench, Hymes had set a new career mark with 32 points and had made eight 3-pointers. Triche wasn’t bad, either, landing 28 points, meaning that Hymes and Triche fell one point short of matching Scotia’s entire output for the day.
A night earlier, J-D had toyed with Malone Franklin, starting a bit slow but putting down the hammer later on in an 89-42 romp of the Huskies.
Hymes had 13 of his 15 points in the first half as the Rams steadily worked its way to a 48-29 halftime edge. J-D then obliterated Franklin with a 31-4 domination of the third quarter that featured everything from long 3-pointers to highlight-reel dunks.
Coleman led with 17 points, while Triche matched Hymes’ total of 15 points as all of them sat out the fourth quarter. Steve Thompson had 10 points, with Zach Chinouma and Zach Firestone each adding six points.
The work at Glens Falls commences at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday morning, when J-D takes on Batavia (Section V) in the state semifinals. Batavia beat Buffalo McKinley in its regional final and features a solid trio of players in Andrew Hoy, Marcus Hoy and Joe Schlossel.
If the Rams win, the final is on Saturday at 1 p.m. against East Hampton or Peekskill, the two teams J-D beat last year in the state final four, when it was still a hungry challenger.