DeRuyter This year’s Jamesville-DeWitt-Christian Brothers Academy boys basketball game, played Sunday night in the opening round of the Bottar-Leone Holiday Classic, was one many figured would be a dogfight between the two rival schools, but the first half left the spectators' thirst for action unquenched.
Where was the drama of last year’s edition of the annual clash, which crowned a victor on a buzzer-beating jump shot? Where was the tension this time around?
Eventually, it arrived - and it did so with a furious rush, culminating in a dramatic sequence in the final seconds where the two sides traded big blows - but the Red Rams, again, came out on top, edging the Brothers 47-46.
As the game headed down the stretch, CBA trailed 45-43. To that point, CBA senior Charlie Russo had watched his jumpers rim out, despite accumulating 15 points.
Coming out of a CBA timeout that followed a Dom DeRegis miss on the front end of a one-and-one, everyone in the packed John Lynch Gym knew it would be Russo taking the shot.
With under 20 seconds remaining, the Brothers worked the ball around before Russo put up a 3-pointer on the right wing that would take the lead.
The Brothers had seized the lead once again, and the home crowd’s exuberance regarding the 46-45 score was evident. But it wasn't over.
Instead of a time-out, J-D quickly in-bounded the ball to its own big star, Jafar Kinsey, who took it coast-to-coast and threw up a layup amid three CBA defenders. It bounced around on the rim before finally settling down into the hoop, less than a second before the buzzer.
That basket won it, as J-D’s student section stormed Buddy Wleklinski Court for the second time in the calendar year to celebrate a victory over the Brothers. Remarkably, Kinsey had beaten the Brothers last season in similar fashion, hitting a last-second jump shot.