DeWitt When all other things don't work, the Jamesville-DeWitt girls basketball team leans back on the defense that helped produce one Section III Class A title and a good chance at another.
That was how the Red Rams kept itself undefeated on Tuesday night, trailing Fayetteville-Manlius most of the way, but pulling ahead when it mattered and hanging on for a 35-33 victory to move its mark to 6-0.
It only figured that the last possession involved a J-D stop. Trailing by two, with a chance to tie or get the lead, F-M tried to work the ball inside, but found nothing against the Rams' tight pressure. Instead, it settled for Rachel Miller getting a 3-point attempt from the left wing that fell short as the clock ran out.
So ended a strong, but frustrating effort for F-M, who nearly pulled off its third consecutive high-quality road win after prevailing at Corcoran and West Genesee the week before.
At first, it was the Hornets' defense controlling matters. J-D did not get a field goal in the game's first 4:47, until Cydney Goodrum converted a lay-up. Four points from freshman guard D'jhai Patterson-Ricks, whose free throws sealed the West Genesee win, helped F-M streak to a 12-4 lead.
Yet the Hornets could not take full advantage of this good start, going through its own six-plus minute scoring drought that stretched deep into the second period. So while F-M was up 18-12 at halftime, it had left the door wide open, and J-D ran would run through it.
A 9-2 surge early in the third quarter, with four of the points from Alyssa Robens, had the Rams within one, 22-21. F-M countered with six straight points, but in a critical sequence Arriel Mussi hit a lay-up and a three-point play on consecutive possessions, thrusting J-D back within two, 28-26, with one period left.