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Rams denied in bid for Federation title

Only at the very end did the burden of trying to pull off back-to-back runs through all phases of the state championship tournament did the burden become too heavy.

Jamesville-DeWitt's boys basketball team, already the proud owners of two straight state Class A titles, tried to repeat that feat at last weekend's Federation championships, also held at Glens Falls Civic Center.

The Red Rams got half the job done, fighting past Iona Prep 67-55 on Friday night, but never got going in Saturday night's championship game, taking a 68-51 loss to Long Island Lutheran in a rematch of the 2008 Federation final.

So much work had gone into all of J-D's game in Glens Falls over the past two weekends. Just getting to that Federation final was enough of a task, which may have explained the struggles against the Crusaders.

In all, the Rams had played three tough games in the span of a week, starting March 14 with the grinding 40-32 win over Batavia in the state Class A semifinal. It continued a day later with the epic 76-75 overtime win over Peekskill that secured the fourth public-school state title in J-D's history.

And when J-D returned to Glens Falls for last Friday night's Federation semifinal, the battles continued, as the Rams needed a strong second half and one more star turn from Brandon Triche to beat Iona Prep.

Much of the first half involved the Rams playing from behind, as it trailed by as much as seven, 10-3 in the early going. Even as it was catching up, J-D watched two of its stars, Alshwan Hymes and DaJuan Coleman, go to the bench with three fouls.

Still, Triche put together 14 points as J-D edged into a 31-29 halftime lead. And after Iona Prep started the second half on a 7-0 run, the Rams turned it around with a 13-2 spurt to close the third quarter and move ahead for good.

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