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Rams repeat as state Class A champs

They worked together, sweated together and relentlessly drove through a season where nothing short of greatness was expected.

And by doing so, right up to the last second, the Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball team earned a solitary place in the record books as the first Section III team to ever win back-to-back New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships.

The Red Rams confirmed that greatness in the most exciting way possible, battling past Peekskill 77-75 in an overtime classic during Sunday's state Class A title game at Glens Falls Civic Center.

Everyone, from the star trio of Brandon Triche, Alshwan Hymes and DaJuan Coleman, to the supporting cast led by Lamar Kearse and Steven Thompson, had to be at their best to win against Peekskill in a game as good as any state final in recent memory.

Between them, the Red Rams and Red Devils had won the last five state titles -- J-D winning in 2004, Peeskill taking over the next three years, then J-D taking it back in 2008, beating Peekskill in the semifinals along the way.

So on familiar Glens Falls ground, the two powerhouses squared off once more, and produced a masterpiece.

Peekskill led most of the first half, its diminutive point guard, Daquan Brickhouse, hurting J-D on all fronts with his dribbling, passing and 3-point shots. He had 14 points in the first half alone.

J-D only sneaked ahead once, at 28-27 in the second quarter, but was down again 37-31 when, in the last minute of the half, it started to turn.

After Coleman hit a basket, a Peekskill player got whistled for a technical foul, and Hymes sank the ensuing free throws, making it 37-35 at the break.

From that point forward, neither side would have a lead larger than four points, as the lead switched hands four times in the third quarter and ended with Ralph Watts hitting a 3-pointer, giving Peeskill a 51-48 edge.

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