Mar 07, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Okay, so maybe the Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball team’s 3-point shooting was, at best, spotty in Sunday night’s Section III Class A final against Nottingham at Utica Memorial Auditorium.
And maybe DaJuan Coleman should not have tried a windmill dunk that clanged off the rim. And maybe head coach Bob McKenney got too worked up late in the first half, leading to a technical foul and a brief burst of momentum for the opponent.
None of this mattered in the end. J-D was far too much for the Bulldogs, cruising to a 68-50 victory as it won its third consecutive sectional title — and, at 21-0, continued its hot pursuit for a state championship three-peat.
Even though Nottingham was an unfamiliar opponent (at least in J-D’s recent past), it wasn’t a weak foe. The Bulldogs had gone 11-7 in the CNY Counties League against a full slate of Class A foes, then had registered playoff wins over Indian River (on Roosevelt Bullock’s double-overtime buzzer beater), Whitesboro and Bishop Ludden.
With a hot-shooting guard in Roosevelt Bullock and a solid swingman in Jawan Simmons, Nottingham caused some concern in a half-court set, so J-D’s early mission was to make sure the Bulldogs never got to that point.
In those opening minutes, the Rams applied full-court pressure, causing all kinds of mistakes and leading to points on the other end. Nottingham had just two field goals in the entire first quarter.
With DaJuan Coleman and Lamar Kearse combining for 21 early points, J-D had a 33-13 edge late in the second quarter. But the full-fledged blowout never materialized.
Sparked by eight points from Bullock (and McKenney’s technical foul), the Bulldogs went on a 13-1 run in the last three minutes of the half, then pulled within 36-29 early in the third quarter when Bullock hit another 3-pointer.
J-D, for a time saw its own offense sputter, as McKenney said that had much to do with his players not going inside, to where Coleman could take control.
“We didn’t go to him at all,” McKenney said. “But once we did that, we were fine. He’s a load to handle.”
Coleman would hit on six points and a slew of rebounds during J-D’s 17-5 run that closed the period and all but put the game away.
For the night, Coleman had 20 points, while Kearse, recovering from a subpar performance in the semifinals against Utica-Notre Dame, had 18 points and Jailaan Kinsey added 10 points. Simmons got most of his 18 points in the fourth quarter as Bullock finished with 17 points.
J-D will play this weekend in the Class A regional final against a Section II or X team, needing just one more win to make yet another trip to Glens Falls and the state final four. McKenney said his approach with this team is the same as the previous two state champions, despite changes in key personnel.
“We just have to keep getting better every week and see if we can represent our section well again,” he said.