Dec 12, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
It only figured that Jamesville-DeWitt and Christian Brothers Academy, two of the most prestigious programs in the history of Section III basketball, would be part of another major milestone on Sunday.
Both the Red Rams and Brothers were part of the inaugural Holiday Classic at the Carrier Dome, the first high school games ever played there – and both would win there, too.
The three-time state Class A champion Red Rams were far from sharp, but still did enough to beat Elmira Southside by a score of 68-52. This came after CBA, led by senior forward Greg Thomson, cruised to a 54-44 victory over Fowler.
J-D, who had opened with a 92-41 win over Fulton three nights earlier, was in the spotlight once more – especially DaJuan Coleman, the 6-11 junior forward coveted by Syracuse and most of the nation’s other top college programs.
Perhaps feeling some stage fright in the Dome, J-D played through a shaky opening sequence that included rushed passes and shots and just one basket from Coleman. It didn’t help that Demetrius Mitchell, the Rams’ superb senior guard, suffered a foot injury in the game’s opening minute and did not return.
Gradually, the Rams’ depth and talent tried to assert itself in the second quarter, but it wasn’t until Pete Drescher notched a trio of baskets (he had 10 points in the half) that the Rams built some cushion. J-D clung to a 33-26 edge going into the break, far from secure.
As soon as the second half began, the tempo went much more to J-D’s liking – fast and furious, with Coleman and fellow forward Tyler Cavanaugh using their strength and size to get inside points.
Southside still wouldn’t go away, though, keeping itself within single digits deep into the fourth quarter as J-D ran its turnover total to 18 and remained uneven.
It took Drescher making a pair of timely 3-pointers in the span of a minute to finally give J-D a real cushion. He finished with 20 points, leading the Rams as Cavanaugh contributed 16 points and 12 rebounds. Coleman, despite his troubles, earned 12 points. Freshman Jafar Kinsey contributed seven points off the bench, the same total as Davi Sacco.
CBA played first, breaking in several new starters as it made its 2010-11 season debut against a Fowler squad also playing in its opener.
Midway through the opening period, the Brothers seized control when two of those new faces, Rob Cuomo and Andy Drescher, combined on three 3-pointers, and Shakir Evans hit a trey, too. That produced a 16-7 lead.
When Fowler tried to cut into that deficit in the second quarter, Thomson used his deft inside moves to accumulate baskets. All told, he had nine of his 17 points in that period, pushing CBA’s edge to 29-15 at the break.
Then the Brothers put things away by scoring the first eight points of the third quarter, Thomson getting four of them as he worked his way to 17 points and 16 rebounds for the game. The lead grew to 45-24, and the rest proved a formality.
Cuomo finished with 14 points, mostly from four 3-pointers, as Shakir Evans, back from an injury that sidelined him most of last season, put up 11 points and three steals. Dieudonne Pierre led Fowler with 14 points as Malcolm Jones contributed 10 points.
In another high-profile event next weekend, CBA and J-D will participate in the Peppino’s Classic at Henninger. The Brothers meet the host Black Knights Friday at 7:45, while the Rams face Rush-Henrietta Saturday at 2 p.m.