Jan 09, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
If the Jamesville-DeWitt girls basketball team wanted to pick up just a bit more of an edge before hosting Christian Brothers Academy next Thursday night, then it’s been quite successful in these early days of 2010.
On the same Cortland court where the Brothers lost its first game of the season earlier in the week, the Red Rams did not meet the same fate, instead showing confidence and poise down the stretch in pulling out a 52-49 victory over the previously unbeaten Purple Tigers.
They came into this game right next to each other in the state rankings – J-D at no. 10, Cortland at no. 11. Neither side had lost in the OHSL Freedom division, so first place in the league was on the line.
This game started exactly like the CBA-Cortland game, in that the visitors took control early, then relinquished it before halftime.
J-D was superb on the defensive side in the first quarter, holding Cortland to just two points. But the Purple Tigers quickly figured things out, hitting on every kind of shot in the second period and forcing a 22-22 tie.
Now it was the Rams’ turn to adjust, cooling Cortland down and eventually taking a 39-33 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Again, the Purple Tigers came back, reeling off nine unanswered points to go in front 42-39 with less than four minutes left. Nicole Ortega tied it up with a 3-pointer, and the two sides then exchanged baskets and free throws as the tension grew.
With less than a minute to play, J-D trailed 49-47, but the Rams knew that, with Alyssa Gratien, it had a player who wanted the ball in late-game situations – as she had shown with a 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat East Syracuse-Minoa earlier this season.
Already with 19 points, Gratien flashed open again and, with 54 seconds left, tried another 3-pointer – and drained it, her fourth trey of the night. It put J-D ahead 50-49.
The Rams then got a bit of good fortune, as Cortland’s Nacriema Mann saw a possible tying free throw with 49 seconds left disallowed because of a lane violation.
J-D, with the ball back, missed two different shots, but maintained possession, forcing the Purple Tigers to foul Gratien with 6.6 seconds to play.
Again proving to be clutch, Gratien hit both foul shots, giving her 24 points for the night, and Cortland’s 3-point attempt to tie was off target as time ran out.
Other than Gratien, Theresa Hernandez, with nine points, was the main J-D threat. Cortland got 20 points from Courtney Tennant and 17 points from Maggie Brown.
As this went on, CBA continued to prepare for its trip to J-D by toppling Chittenango 54-34. The Brothers steadily dominated the Bears, building a 44-19 lead through three periods.
CBA’s backcourt of Ellen Voorheis and Leanne Ockenden remained steady, as Voorheis got 15 points and Ockenden added 13 points. Kelsey Johnson had eight points, with Victoria Johnson and Katie Webster got six points apiece.
Of course, the boys teams at J-D and CBA are also gearing up for a showdown, coming next Friday at Buddy Wleklinski Court. And both would win on Friday night.
J-D, no. 1 in the state Class A rankings, had its closest call of the season to date, but still beat Fowler 80-58. The Red Rams only led 37-28 at halftime, but used its relentless pace to get away from the Falcons in the second half.
DaJuan Coleman, against the school from which he transferred, poured in 26 points, while Lamar Kearse hit on 22 points and Tyler Cavanaugh stepped up for 16 points. Demitrius Mitchell added eight points. Malcolm Jones (20 points) and Larry Rivers (17 points) led Fowler’s effort.
CBA, meanwhile, went to Chittenango and beat the Bears 73-57, using a 25-12 first quarter to gain control.
Greg Thomson established his inside presence, earning 17 points, while Shakir Evans hit on four 3-pointers on his way to a season-beat 17 points. Fellow guard Troy Bullock got 15 points and Pat Wiese earned seven points.