Before it could go for a pair of OHSL Freedom division titles at Christian Brothers Academy this weekend, the Jamesville-DeWitt basketball teams first had to settle its business with other neighbors.
The Red Rams swept both parts of last Friday night's meeting with East Syracuse-Minoa. On the girls side, J-D, playing at home, continued to surge, going to 11-1 in league play (11-6 overall) by topping the Spartans 60-41.
On the same court where the Rams so memorably downed ESM in last year's opening round of the Section III Class A playoffs, a new cast of J-D stars displayed just how much they had down from their early tentative play.
In fact, the game reflected the season-long growth. ESM led all through the first half, taking a 28-23 lead to the break, but J-D held them to seven points in the third quarter and inched in front by one, 36-35.
Then came the fourth quarter, which was a dominant 24-6 effort by the Rams on both ends as it pulled away. Cydney Goodrum and Caitlin Cariseo led with 12 points apiece, while Abbey Smith earned nine points. Kayleigh Cavanaugh and Stephanie Mannion each got seven points. For ESM, Olivia Luciani and Gabby Eure both finished with 13 points.
As this went on, the J-D boys team went to ESM and continued to show just what a difference the return of Demetrius Mitchell meant to them in beating the Spartans 83-58.
Mitchell had come back from his foot injury the week before, and J-D had crushed Fowler and Fulton. Now it took ESM's best shot in the first half, and still led 35-29 at the break before a 30-point third-quarter eruption put the game away.
As DaJuan Coleman worked inside for 25 points and Tyler Cavanaugh added 20 points, Mitchell hit on four 3-pointers to account for most of his 21 points as the Rams' offense continued to diversify. For ESM, Josh Stuper had 11 points as Sharif Nero, Tyler Johnson and Casey Sullivan got nine points apiece.