SYRACUSE Arriell Mussi leapt toward the ball, which trickled from the free throw line toward the left elbow.
Oneida had just cut a 19-point Jamesville-DeWitt lead to 15 late in the second quarter of Friday night's Section III Class A girls basketball semifinal at Onondaga Community College's Allyn Hall, threatening to come back and challenge the top-seeded Red Rams, but the J-D senior wouldn’t allow the Indians to pull any closer.
Mussi snared the ball - sprawling forward on the court - turned and whipped a pass past the outstretched left hand of Oneida’s Jenna Didio and into the waiting mitts of Nyree Mitchell, who stood alone on the perimeter.
Mitchell drained the 3-pointer to extend J-D’s lead to 30-12 with 1:41 left in the first half and the Red Rams never looked back en route to a 55-32 victory over No. 4 seed Oneida.
“She’s been our defensive stopped all year,” J-D head coach Rob Siechen said. She’ll dive everywhere for a ball and she’s really starting to put the ball in the basket which is making her confidence go even higher."
J-D (17-3, 11-1) outworked the Indians in every facet of the game. The Rams patiently moved the ball on offense, waiting to inch far enough ahead of the Oneida rotation, and pressured the Indians (13- 7, 4-4) defensively. Also, J-D thrived in transition, pulling away in the second quarter behind a slew of fast-break scores.
Cydney Goodrum finished with a game-high 15 points, Mussi and Mitchell scored 11 points each. Kayleigh Cavanaugh added nine points.
Going for back-to-back sectional titles, J-D will take on No. 2 seed Whitesboro in the Class A final Wednesday night at the Carrier Dome. The Warriors, led by Jennifer Deuel's 25 points, knocked off No. 3 seed Carthridge 58-39 in the other semifinal.