Mar 17, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Almost by himself, Pat Peterson thwarted the Jamesville-DeWitt’s boys basketball team’s historic quest for a fifth consecutive state Class A championship.
Peterson, a 6-1 senior guard from Tappan Zee, unloaded on the Red Rams in Saturday’s state Class A semifinal at Glens Falls Civic Center, scoring 28 second-half points (and 31 overall) to lead the Dutchmen past the Red Rams 55-46.
In their last J-D appearances, Dajuan Coleman and Tyler Cavanaugh were overshadowed as Peterson buried seven 3-pointers and, for the first time since 2007, the Red Rams did not end its season with a state public high school crown.
Tappan Zee entered Glens Falls with a perfect 24-0 mark, built as much on stifling defense as anything else. So it was little surprise that the first half turned into a grinding affair, played at just the tempo the Dutchmen wanted.
In many ways, J-D got stifled, as Coleman did not hit on a field goal (just two free throws) and Cavanaugh, despite six points, had to go to the bench with two fouls. Tappan Zee mixed up defensive looks, using everything but the standard 2-3 zone other opponents had used against Coleman without success.
Still, after Tappan Zee jumped to an early 6-0 lead on a pair of 3-pointers, J-D’s unheralded guards brought the champs back. Pete Drescher led the way with eight points, while Jafar Kinsey and Gabe Williams also hit timely baskets.
That, combined with J-D’s own brand of stiff defensive resistance, allowed the Rams to move in front midway through the second quarter. And Drescher’s steal and lay-up just before halftime made it 20-15 going to the break.
The Dutchmen’s offense woke up early in the third quarter, though. It more than doubled its point total in just four minutes with a 15-2 run, sparked by Peterson, who had 10 of those points, including back-to-back 3-pointers that suddenly left J-D behind 32-25.
Only now did Coleman hit his first pair of field goals, with a Drescher 3-pointer in between, which quickly tied things at 32-32. Peterson wasn’t done, though, adding five more points (giving him 15 for the quarter), and J-D went to the final period down by a point, 37-36.
Through a tense homestretch, Coleman authored a pair of his trademark dunks, but Peterson continued his career effort, no shot bigger than a 3-pointer (his seventh of the game) with less than four minutes to play, which extended the margin to 48-43.
Other than a Kinsey 3-pointer in the waning seconds, J-D did not have a single field goal in the last four minutes. Fittingly, it was Peterson, who finished with 31 points, hitting on four free throws to seal Tappan Zee’s landmark win.
Coleman and Drescher both finished with 13 points, as Coleman added 10 rebounds and Cavanaugh only managed 10 points. This came on the heels of Coleman getting named the state’s Mr. Basketball by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York earlier in the week.
Now Coleman can head for Syracuse University, and Cavanaugh to Wake Forest, knowing they helped J-D to tie the mark of four straight state championships, but fell just two wins short of something even greater.