Both on and off the court, the Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball team has needed to deal with more adversity that normal early in the 2010-11 season.
So it figured that the Red Rams would face a halftime deficit against Section V power Rush-Henrietta Saturday in the Peppino's Invitational at Henninger High School. But led by DaJuan Coleman and Tyler Cavanaugh, J-D pulled through, earning a 71-66 victory over the Royal Comets.
The Rams began the week dealing with the loss of Demetrius Mitchell's services. The 6-2 senior guard broke a bone in his foot early in the Rams' Dec. 12 game against Elmira Southside in the Carrier Dome.
Early indications are that Mitchell will miss a month - possibly more. This leaves J-D with a small backcourt, with Davi Sacco and Brandon Franklin starting and freshman Jafar Kinsey right behind them - none of them taller than 5-11. This put more pressure on both Coleman and Cavanaugh to get those inside baskets whenever they got the ball.
That, plus seeing nearly a week of practice time lost due to winter snowstorms, gave J-D concerns as it made its way to Hennninger. Rush-Henrietta, from the Rochester suburbs, brought a solid roster that included Ashton Broyld, the 6-4 senior who, as a football quarterback, led the Royal Comets to the state Class AA championship a month ago.
Franklin replaced Mitchell in the starting five - and quickly got caught up in a close and exciting contest. The lead switched hands 11 times in the first quarter alone, so it figured that the Rams and Royal Comets were tied 18-18 at the end of that frame.
Led by Broyld, who accumulated 11 points in the first half, Rush moved out in front in the second period, leading by as much as five and taking a 32-28 edge to the half - this despite Coleman getting to 11 points with more control and poise than he showed at the Dome earlier in the week.