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J-D boys hoops returns, tops Cortland

Rams now 4-0, will play at CBA holiday tournament

Of all the teams affected by various weather-related postponements in the first month of local winter sports, few, if any, had a higher profile than Jamesville-DeWitt's boys and girls basketball sides.

First, the Red Rams saw both of its games against Mexico snowed out Dec. 13. Then bad weather hit again four days later, wiping out both basketball clashes with Cortland.

By the time the J-D boys returned to action Saturday night to make up the Cortland game, it had not played in 11 days - but instead of rust, the Rams showed energy and confidence, jumping ahead early and not letting go as it beat the Purple Tigers 80-60.

In recent years, J-D and Cortland had developed a healthy rivalry, with the Purple Tigers one of the few teams to beat the Rams in the regular season during its state championship run from 2008 to 2011, though J-D won back-to-back sectional finals over Cortland n 2011 at Utica Auditorium and 2012 at the Carrier Dome.

Going into this game, Cortland carried a 3-1 record, but J-D, with its 3-0 start, had returned to the state Class A rankings in the no. 21 spot. It didn't take long for the Rams to show why it was held in high regard again.

Pushing the pace, the Rams doubled up the Purple Tigers in the first quarter, grabbing a 24-12 lead. And though Cortland's production improved in the second period, J-D still extended its margin to 45-28.

And the rest of the game turned into a futile chase, J-D easily turning back Cortland's advances by showing more depth in its attack, four players scoring in double figures.

Dom Deregis had 21 points, while Jafar Kinsey managed 20 points, the pair combining to sink seven 3-pointers between them. Evan Dourdas picked up 12 points, while Jacob Eich had a season-best 10 points and Brian Cieplicki added six points.

Cortland had no one match the production of Deregis and Kinsey, despite a well-balanced attack. Daquan Pittman had 12 points, while Qadir Artis and Sage Brown managed 11 points apiece.

From here, J-D turns its attention to its appearance at Christian Brothers Academy's Bottar-Leone Holiday Classic, where it will face the host Brothers in the Dec. 29 opening round after defending Class AA champion Henninger takes on Nazareth (Brooklyn). The consolation and championship games take place Dec. 30.

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