Jamesville-DeWitt's boys basketball team found itself at the University of West Virginia in Morgantown last weekend, facing elite competition at the Prime Time Shootout.
Once there, the Red Rams suffered a rare thing - back-to-back defeats. It all started Friday night when Columbia, from Georgia, used spectacular defense to shut down J-D in a 55-40 defeat.
Columbia used its size and a pressing, trapping defense to shut down J-D for long periods of time. And its offense was potent when necessary, overcoming the Rams' early 11-7 advantage with a 19-7 sprint through the second quarter to move ahead for good.
Bottled up all night, DaJuan Coleman had a season-low eight points, something that Tyler Cavanaugh (15 points) and freshman Jafar Kinsey (10 points) could not make up for.
It did not get any better on Saturday, against a local team from Wheeling Park, as the Patriots knocked off the Red Rams 65-57.
Here, J-D relied entirely on its frontcourt stars, as Coleman bounced back from his Columbia struggles to earn 27 points and Cavanaugh chimed in with 19 points. Still, Wheeling Park came out on top behind Bubby Goodwin's 21 points (including three 3-pointers) and Boo Lathon adding 20 points.
Before the trip, J-D took care of two more local foes, starting last Tuesday with a 65-45 victory over Phoenix that had its temperamental moments.
The Firebirds had a solid first half, only trailing 31-22. And that seemed to set off the alarm as J-D proceeded to pummel Phoenix 30-7 in the third quarter before resting the starters.
Coleman, with 16 points, led four J-D players in double figures as Cavanaugh got 14 points, Brandon Franklin 12 points and Pete Drescher 10 points. Kinsey added six points.
Then J-D went to Chittenango Thursday night and, by controlling the game's middle stages, pulled away from the Bears and won 72-45.