Much of the core unit that produced back-to-back Section III Class A championships for the Jamesville-DeWitt girls basketball teamJamesville-DeWitt girls basketball team has now left the scene.
Yet even without the likes of Cydney Goodrum, Kayleigh Cavanaugh, Arriell Mussi and Taylor Fallon, the Red Rams are still bent on gaining a sectional three-peat and, perhaps, doing much better, perhaps to the tune of a state final four appearance in Troy in mid-March.
A good indicator of J-D’s quality would come Friday night, when the Red Rams visited Christian Brothers Academy in the latest chapter of their neighborhood rivalry.
And all indications for the Rams looked quite good as it took charge from the start and never really let the Brothers get too close, eventually prevailing by a score of 56-43.
CBA, who lost a large senior group of its own (including Marisa Romeo) from a squad that went 16-4 and lost a thrilling 64-61 sectional Class AA semifinal to Corcoran a season ago, was breaking in a new lineup around Julie Cuomo, and they would struggle in the early going, especially on the defensive side.
J-D took full advantage, surging to a 21-7 lead by the end of the first quarter. The Brothers settled down the rest of the half, yet could not eat into its deficit, and a 15-9 push through the third quarter allowed the Rams to feel more comfortable.
Alyssa Robens, emerging as J-D’s primary offensive threat, earned 22 points, matching Cuomo. The difference was that Robens had a lot more help, as Carly O’Hern stepped up for 13 points, with Meg Hair getting seven points and Maddy Frank six points. Behind Cuomo, CBA’s Natalie Nardella and Paige Nicholson each had six points.
Three nights earlier, J-D had opened its season against Fulton, and even with a new-look starting lineup, the Rams were in control and nearly doubled up the Red Raiders in a 58-30 victory.