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J-D girls end 14-year sectional title drought

Rams fight off Cortland rally, win 47-38 in Carrier Dome

Jamesville-DeWitt guard Kayleigh Cavanaugh (23) blocks the shots of Cortland’s Maggie Brown (3) in Thursday’s Class A final. Cavanaugh, named tournament MVP, also had 13 points as the Red Rams, with a 47-38 win over the Purple Tigers, earned its first sectional championship since 1998.

Jamesville-DeWitt guard Kayleigh Cavanaugh (23) blocks the shots of Cortland’s Maggie Brown (3) in Thursday’s Class A final. Cavanaugh, named tournament MVP, also had 13 points as the Red Rams, with a 47-38 win over the Purple Tigers, earned its first sectional championship since 1998. Photo by Herm Card.

— "We were sleeping," she said. "And then we woke up."

Quickly, J-D forged a 20-20 tie, but didn't stop there, notching the last seven points of the first half, capped by back-to-back baskets from Lauren Beville.

That momentum carried over deep into the third quarter, too, as the Rams put together another 9-0 spurt that increased the lead to 40-23. Still, it wasn't over.

Brown personally brought Cortland back, getting eight of her 24 points during a 10-0 spurt that ended the period, capped by a drive and basket that made it 40-33. All of a sudden, J-D had reason to worry.

Before the fourth quarter started, said Siechen, "I told them that we had to get a bucket. We had to settle down on offense."

Mannion did the honors with a pivotal 3-pointer from the corner early in that final period. Then J-D's defense found its second wind, too, aided by its depth and by the fact that Katie Maroney tailed Brown, forcing her into bad shots that thwarted the Purple Tigers' rally.

Siechen said that his team's bench, which included Caitlin Cariseo, Maddy Frank, Abbey Smith and Alyssa Robens, offered the same contributions that they have all season, keeping starters fresh and energized for the homestretch.

That included Goodrum, who capped off her double-double, and the Rams' sectional title, with a rebound basket in the waning seconds after a missed free throw from Mannion, who got 11 points on the night.

Now J-D goes after its first-ever state Class A title. On Wednesday night, the Rams meet Massena (Section X) at SUNY-Potsdam, with the winner advancing to the March 10 regional final against Section II champion Averill Park at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy - the same site of the state final four on March 16-17.

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