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.