By getting through one long road trip, each of the Jamesville-DeWitt basketball teams earned the right to take another one on Saturday - and play for a spot in the state final four.
The girls Red Rams, making its first state playoff appearance since 1998, pulled away late to beat Massena 46-31 Wednesday night at SUNY-Potsdam, right before the J-D boys, at full strength, handled Malone's Franklin Academy 72-41.
More suspense was found in the girls contest. Massena, the Section X champions, were playing fairly close to home and traded baskets with J-D throughout the first quarter.
Up 13-11 going to the second period, the Rams proceeded to hold Massena to a mere two points the rest of the half. However, J-D hit its own offensive skid, partially because its two leading scorers, Kayleigh Cavanaugh and Cydney Goodrum, got into foul trouble. The Rams went to the break with a 20-13 edge.
More concern arose in the third quarter, as the Red Raiders rallied and moved within one, 28-27. But as it has done so many other times this season, J-D used its depth - and its defense - to wear Massena down, holding them to just four points in the final period.
Both Stephanie Mannion, with 14 points, and Goodrum, with 11 points (six off them successful free throws), made up for the struggles of Cavanaugh, who had just five points in her limited minutes. Katie Maroney also had five points, with Lauren Beville and Alyssa Robens each got four points and Maddy Frank added three points.
When the J-D boys took the court against Franklin to commence its pursuit of an unprecedented fifth straight state championship, Tyler Cavanaugh was with them, glad that the left hip injury he suffered late in Sunday's Section III Class A final against Cortland (X-rays turned out negative) was not a serious one.