Feb 13, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
All of it looked too familiar to the Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball team – its undefeated season in peril at the last moment because Christian Brothers Academy spoiled all the plans.
But unlike 2009, when the Brothers did prevail in the regular-season finale, the Red Rams won this time – though it took Tyler Cavanaugh’s late rebound basket to pull out a 51-50 decision.
Exactly 12 months ago, CBA gave J-D its lone blemish in a 67-66 decision on the last night of the regular season as both were en route to Section III titles and the state final four in Glens Falls – the Brothers in Class AA, the Red Rams in Class A.
Now the scenario repeated itself. In the background was the fact that, on Jan. 15, J-D had gone to CBA and pulled out a 46-41 win, one of its closest calls on its way to a 17-0 start.
The latest chapter in this intense neighborhood rivalry featured, as usual, an overflow crowd that spilled over the J-D bleachers and went to the running track overlooking the court.
And it also had the same kind of tempo CBA got out of the first meeting this season as the Brothers used long possessions and consistent, effective defense to slow J-D down.
That didn’t happen right away, though. the Brothers outscored the Red Rams 16-14 in the first period, then pulled back the rest of the half. True, J-D inched in front, 24-22, but it was playing at just the pace CBA wished for.
They remained in lockstep through the third quarter. One big difference from the January meeting was the increased production of J-D sophomore center DaJuan Coleman, who had 21 points, far better than the six points of the first meeting.
But other than Coleman and Lamar Kearse (16 points), the Rams were quiet, and CBA was matching them basket-for-basket, Pat Wiese hitting on four 3-pointers on his way to 17 points, with Greg Thomson (10 points), Troy Bullock (eight points) and Yosh Karbowniczak (six points) in support.
Through a low-scoring fourth quarter, neither side could get away, and CBA inched out in front 50-49 as time began to wind down.
J-D would get a chance in the final moments. Kearse drove to the basket and missed – but with four seconds left, Cavanaugh, who had just four points on the night, put home the rebound, and the Rams led by one.
CBA only had time to take one more last-second shot. When it fell short, J-D’s unbeaten regular season was complete.
As CBA rested — and practiced for its second shot at J-D — the Red Rams were on the court last Tuesday night, shrugging off the challenge of 14-3 Cortland as it registered a 71-53 victory over the Purple Tigers.
Cortland had risen to the top of the OHSL Freedom American division through a well-balanced attack and a sticky zone defense, but neither would work in a potential playoff preview against the Rams.
First, J-D hit with its outside shooting, as Kearse and Zach Firestone hit on three 3-pointers in the first quarter to produce a 20-14 lead.
With Cortland still close in the second period at 25-20, the Rams began to get away with six points in 12 seconds — a jumper from Cavanaugh, a steal and lay-up by Jailaan Kinsey and, off a missed free throw, a tip-in from Coleman.
That ignited a 26-4 run that stretched deep into the third quarter. Coleman finished with 19 points, while Kearse got 14 points and Firestone had 12 points, all from four 3-pointers.
Kinsey, starting in place of Demetrius Mitchell, poured in 11 points as Cavanaugh had six points on his 16th birthday. In defeat, Cortland got 16 points from Jordan Prior and 13 points from Justin Hogan.