Jan 28, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Has the cloak of invincibility disappeared from the Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball team?
First came the pair of losses at the Jan. 21-22 Prime Time Shootout in West Virginia. Then, on Friday night, the Red Rams’ undisputed status as an overwhelming Section III Class A favorite took a serious hit when it went to Cortland and took a 55-51 defeat to the Purple Tigers.
It’s been a long time since J-D has lost three consecutive games, no matter the context. And the Rams had prevailed in 21 straight OHSL Freedom division contests, the last defeat coming to CBA in 2009.
But Cortland was a worthy opponent, having roared out to a 12-1 start this season, its only loss coming to CBA on Jan. 19. And the Purple Tigers were at home, playing in front of 1,000 loud and passionate fans ready to see the three-time state Class A champions put to the test.
J-D’s defense had a solid first quarter, but it only led 12-9 at the end of that frame. Sensing a big opportunity, Cortland seized it, controlling the tempo and, more importantly, hitting outside shots as it sprinted ahead, 29-25, by halftime.
Even with a faster pace in the third period, J-D could not quite catch up, still trailing 43-41 going to the final period, where it did move ahead 48-45. But J.P. Reagan’s 3-pointer tied it for Cortland, and the drama proceeded to the final minutes.
They were still even, 51-51, when Brandon Babcock’s lay-up pushed Cortland ahead by two. J-D, still with a chance to tie or win it, the Rams turned it over – and with seven seconds to play, Reagan’s pair of free throws clinched Cortland’s big win.
In defeat, DaJuan Coleman only managed 12 points and Tyler Cavanaugh struggled, too, with just eight points. Pete Drescher led J-D with 14 points.
On Cortland’s side, Reagan got most of his 14 points from four 3-pointers, while Babcock hit three times beyond the arc on his way to 11 points. Half of Justin Hogan’s 12 points came from a pair of 3-pointers. The Purple Tigers only had eight turnovers all night.
The biggest irony of the J-D’s boys’ struggles was that, back home, the girls edition of the Red Rams was recording its biggest win of the season as it took out Cortland, the defending Section III Class A champions, in a 51-40 decision.
J-D only carried a 6-6 record into this game, while Cortland was 8-3. What was more, the Purple Tigers’ top player, junior Maggie Brown, was coming off a 41-point performance in an overtime win over East Syracuse-Minoa earlier in the week.
But the Rams didn’t care about such gaudy figures. Instead, it applied tremendous pressure and made Brown work very hard just to get 19 points, not even half the ESM total. And it did even better against Cortland’s other top player, Nacirema Mann, holding her to four points.
On the offensive side, J-D made its decisive move in the second quarter, outscoring the Purple Tigers 17-9 as it seized a 26-19 halftime lead. That margin remained steady the rest of the way as three Rams scored in double figures.
Kayleigh Cavanaugh finished with 13 points, with Cydney Goodrum and Ariel Mussi each posting 11 points. Caitlin Cariseo threw in five points as J-D rose back above the .500 mark and got a win that the boys, for once, would have liked to match.
In stark contrast to the J-D drama, Christian Brothers Academy breezed to wins over Homer on both the male and female sides after not playing for more than a week.
The boys Brothers (9-2) beat the Trojans 68-24 in a game that saw Shakir Evans return from a one-game absence due to illness. Evans had nine points, part of a balanced effort where Rob Cuomo had 14 points and Cam MacPherson came off the bench to earn 10 points. Tyler Hamblin and Aaron Morgan also saw extended minutes and earned seven points apiece.
Back home at Buddy Wleklinski Court, the CBA girls handled Homer 56-37, steadily pulling away in the second half as Michelle Wiese led the way with 16 points. Marisa Romeo (14 points) and Kelsey Johnson (12 points) also hit double figures.