SYRACUSE Favored all season long to repeat as Section III Class A champions, the Jamesville-DeWitt girls basketball team never wavered from that goal - and now have attained it.
The top-seeded Red Rams earned that second consecutive title Saturday night when it handled no. 2 seed Whitesboro 54-37 in the Carrier Dome.
Despite playing in different leagues, the Red Rams and Warriors are familiar foes when it comes to the playoffs. The Warriors won their matchup in the semifinals of the 2011 tournament, but the Red Rams got revenge in the first round last year on the way to that first sectional crown since 1998.
Cydney Goodrum overcame a slow start to pace a balanced J-D attack with 13 points. She received tournament MVP honors for the second year in a row, finishing with 36 total points in three sectional games.
“This is the second year in a row, back to back titles," Goodrum said. "Wow, I'm so happy!”
It was Arriell Mussi, though, who set the tone, opening with a jumper and a 3-pointer to push J-D out to a 5-0 lead in the game’s opening minute.
“It was a great team win,” J-D coach Rob Siechen said. “Cydney generally gets us going. She had an off night, she was in foul trouble all night, but we have other people to step up. Arielle had a great start to both halves.”
The Rams’ defense forced eight turnovers and held Whitesboro to just one field goal in the opening period to build a 15-8 lead.
“That's what we preach all the time," Siechen said. “You're going to have that every day. You're not going to necessarily shoot well, but (with our) defense, we're hopefully always in the right spot and it will keep you in any game.”
Neither Goodrum nor Mussi scored in the second quarter, but the supporting cast stepped up to keep the Warriors at arm’s length.