Here was the start of the fourth quarter, and the Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball team was allowing Mexico to dream a little. The Red Rams only had a six-point lead on the Tigers Friday night, and thoughts of a monumental upset drifted through fans in Mexico's gym.
But it was only fleeting. J-D turned to its star tandem of Tyler Cavanaugh and Dajuan Coleman to take over in the late going, the Rams beating Mexico 76-59.
Not once in the early stages did the Rams feel comfortable. Poor outside shooting allowed the Tigers to offset Coleman and Cavanaugh's production, and on the other end each of the Tigers' six players hit at least one 3-pointer.
With Jake Deno and Nick Dolbear each earning 18 points, Mexico was within sight, 47-41, going into the fourth quarter, but wore down in the last minutes, allowing Cavanaugh and Coleman to score at will.
Overall, Cavanaugh had 30 points, a season high, which included 12 successful free throws. Coleman wasn't far behind, adding 25 points, while Jafar Kinsey (seven points) offered support.
Back home, the J-D girls basketball team kept itself undefeated in far more comfortable fashion, again leading on its airtight defense to shut down Mexico 54-26.
Having earned the no. 14 spot in the first state Class A rankings of the season, J-D showed the primary reason for its stature early, holding the Tigers to a mere five points in the first half.
On the other end, the Rams picked up confidence as the game went on, roaring to a 27-5 lead by halftime. Cydney Goodrum's aggressive play worked, as eight of her 14 points came at the free-throw line. Kayleigh Cavanaugh also had 14 points as Katie Maroney added seven points.
Right after dismissing Chittenango on Dec. 16, both groups of Red Rams returned home Saturday night to participate in the “Midnight Madness” event that was part of the Save J-D Sports campaign to restore athletic funding in the wake of potential budget cuts.