All current indications are that the Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball team is in prime condition, fully prepared for the post-season - and the pursuit of a fourth consecutive Section III and state Class A championship.
The Red Rams closed the regular-season portion of its quest by making the short trip to Christian Brothers Academy Friday night and leading all the way through an impressive 71-51 victory over the Brothers at Buddy Wleklinski Court.
Ever since Demetrius Mitchell resumed his place in the starting lineup after missing 14 games due to a broken bone in his foot, J-D has gone 4-0, all of them by lopsided margins. Head coach Bob McKenney said the senior point guard's presence has allowed the team to resume its normal fast-paced approach on both ends.
"He (Mitchell) brings a unique element to the game," said McKenney. "He's a great defensive player, and he gets our fast break going."
It was that defense that really stood out in the first half against CBA, a team the Rams had beaten (without Mitchell) 59-46 back on Jan. 7 as Pete Drescher delivered a career-best 17 points on that night.
Mitchell and his fellow guards stayed patient as, once again, the Brothers tried to slow the tempo down. It worked, as CBA didn't score until the game was more than four minutes old. By then, J-D had an 8-0 lead.
A series of 3-pointers by Shakir Evans, who would lead CBA with 13 points, brought his side within two, 22-20, midway through the second quarter. But the Brothers again went through a dry spell, blanked in the last 4:42 of the half as J-D, with 11 straight points (seven of them free throws), took a 33-20 lead to the break.
"We did a great job staying disciplined against their offense," said McKenney. "Then, in the second half, we got our tempo going."