Normalcy, for the Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball team, is a standard far beyond the reach of most programs - and if indeed the Red Rams are back to its normal ways, the rest of the Section III Class A contenders have to start worrying again.
J-D, the three-time defending state Class A champions mired in a rare three-game losing streak, came back home Friday night and broke the skid, smashing Fowler 79-49 - and it wasn't a coincidence that it came just as a pivotal player returned to the court.
Demetrius Mitchell, the Rams' most experienced and skilled guard, broke a bone in his foot back on Dec. 12 during J-D's 68-52 win over Elmira Southside at the Carrier Dome.
Brandon Franklin took over Mitchell's starting spot, and J-D got by until that late-January slump - two defeats in the Prime Time Shootout in West Virginia, then a 55-51 loss to Cortland. As a result, the Rams, once atop the state Class A rankings, fell all the way to no. 17.
A week after Cortland, Mitchell came back for Fowler - and that alone seemed to help J-D find its old dominant form. The Rams raced ahead of the Falcons 19-7 in the first quarter, then steadily added to its margin the rest of the night as Mitchell contributed 18 points, half of them from a trio of 3-point field goals, plus six assists.
Meanwhile, DaJuan Coleman, freed from the extra attention given to him in Mitchell's absence, earned 19 points and 13 rebounds. Tyler Cavanaugh put in 15 points, while Mitchell's backcourt mate, Pete Drescher, had 12 points. Freshman Jafar Kinsey added seven points.
A night later, J-D made up a game against Fulton snowed out earlier in the week and smashed the Red Raiders 84-47. Steadily, the Rams moved to a 39-23 lead by halftime, then notched 32 points in the third quarter alone to put things away. Coleman led with 22 points as Mitchell poured in 14 points and Cavanaugh got 13 points. Kinsey and Gabe Williams finished with seven points apiece.
On the girls side Friday, J-D held off Fowler 54-46. Though up 29-17 at the half, the Rams saw the Falcons whittle down the lead to 35-32 before it reclaimed the cushion in the fourth quarter.
Still, J-D improved to 9-1 in the OHSL Freedom division (9-6 overall) as Cydney Goodrum, with 10 points, led a balanced offense. Lauren Beville and Caitlin Cariseo each got eight points as Stephanie Mannion and Katie Maroney put up six points apiece. Fowler's Latina Smith led both sides with 17 points.