Mar 12, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Many rituals are associated with March, such as the melting of winter snows. Not to mention the Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball team going to Glens Falls for the state Class A final four.
In hot pursuit of matching Amityville (2000-03 in Class B) as the only team to ever win four consecutive state championships, the Red Rams conquered yet another regional final Saturday at Cicero-North Syracuse, toppling Section II champion Mohonasen 67-50.
Uneven at times during the contest, J-D took charge in the third quarter when DaJuan Coleman overwhelmed the Mighty Warriors for 12 points during a 19-8 run that doubled the Rams’ margin.
By the time he was done, Coleman had amassed 31 points, adding 10 rebounds and three blocks. Coleman’s main running mates were productive, too, as Demetrius Mitchell poured in 19 points and Tyler Cavanaugh added 10 points, plus eight rebounds. So dependent were the Rams on its top three players that no one else had a field goal until back-to-back baskets from Jordan Evans and Jafar Kinsey late in the third period.
Having beaten Massena 86-53 in the first half of the regional round the night before, J-D was playing for the second time in less than 24 hours – a contrast to Mohonasen, who, like so many other Rams opponents, wanted to slow things down.
That worked for four minutes until, trailing 7-5, J-D started feeding the ball consistently to Coleman late in the first quarter, resulting in four straight baskets and a 9-0 run that gave the Rams the lead for good.
Then it was Mitchell’s turn to get hot in the second period. The senior guard produced a steal and dunk, plus a pair of 3-pointers, as he got 10 points and sparked J-D’s 14-3 spurt that made the score 32-16, and a runaway looked imminent.
Mohonasen kept fighting, though, and when it pulled within 34-26 early in the third quarter, head coach Bob McKenney called a time-out, telling his players to get the ball back to Coleman, who at 6-10 towered more than half a foot over any Mighty Warriors starter.
It worked, as Coleman used his ever-increasing series of post moves to blast J-D to a 53-34 lead in a span of just four minutes. From there, the Rams cruised toward yet another state final four.
Next Saturday morning at 9 a.m. at Glens Falls Civic Center, J-D meets up with Section V champion Rochester Aquinas in the state Class A semifinals. The winner advances to Sunday’s title game, which will tip off at 1:30 as the Rams look for its sixth overall state title – the fifth in McKenney’s tenure.