Mar 06, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
The second time around, Jamesville-DeWitt’s girls basketball team hoped that its journey through the state Class A tournament went longer than it did in 2012, when Averill Park took them out 46-40 in the regional round.
Yet when the Red Rams faced another Section II foe, Troy, in Tuesday’s regional opener at Le Moyne College, the exact same thing happened as J-D lost by that exact same six-point margin, this one ending 49-43 in the Flying Horses’ favor.
What was a tie game at halftime turned early in the third quarter, when Troy went on an 11-3 run to pull ahead for good. Then the Flying Horses held on as J-D constantly tried to come back, but were denied by a pair of untimely scoring droughts.
“They (Troy) got to the rim and got second-shot opportunities,” said J-D head coach Rob Siechen. “We took quick shots because they defended us well and are very athletic.”
Even with the experience edge in terms of state tournament play, the Rams were blanked in the game’s first four minutes, struggling against Troy’s full-court pressure, which though its speed recovered well even when J-D broke past mid-court and thought it had open looks, but did not.
Despite this, Cydney Goodrum, accounting for all of the points in the period, pushed the Rams in front 7-6, and it kept pace in the second quarter despite eight points from Troy guard Courtney Avery. Kayleigh Cavanaugh’s jumper, just before the half, evened it 20-20, seemingly giving J-D a bit of momentum going to the break.
But as soon as the third quarter started, Troy tore up the Rams’ vaunted defense, seizing a 31-23 lead. Flying Horses head coach Paul Bearup said he switched to a smaller lineup, and that threw J-D off its defensive rhythm as it, for a time, could not keep up, either in the paint or on the boards.
It turned the rest of the game into a tense chase. J-D never lost sight, moving within five (38-33) going to the fourth quarter and not surrendering even when it went more than six minutes without a field goal before Cavanaugh’s 3-pointer with 4:40 left broke the drought.
Maddy Frank’s basket cut it to 42-39, but both then, and after Goodrum’s basket made it 44-41, Troy forward Krystyn Knockwood answered with key baskets, spreading the margin back to five.
Frank made it 46-43 with a jumper with 51 seconds left. On the ensuing possession, the Flying Horses worked the clock down and, with 23.3 seconds to play, Mary Pattison drew a foul.
Calmly, Pattison made both free throws, stretching Troy’s margin to 48-43. When J-D tried to answer, Avery got a block, one of three she made in the closing stretch, and another free throw from Avery sealed it as she finished with a game-high 15 points.
Goodrum, in defeat, paced J-D with 13 points, but had only four points after halftime. Siechen said that Troy collapsed its defense on Goodrum in the latter stages, forcing J-D to go outside, where it simply didn’t make enough shots to catch up, though Ariell Mussi finished with nine points and Cavanaugh and Frank got eight points apiece.
While Troy moved a step closer to playing in its hometown for the state Class A final four (held at Troy’s Hudson Valley Community College March 15-16), J-D saw its season end at 18-4, though it could take solace in capturing back-to-back sectional titles.
The challenge, in seeking a three-peat in 2013-14, is doing so without Goodrum, Cavanaugh and Mussi, along with Taylor Fallon and Emily Fitzgerald. It wlll be up to the likes of Frank and Alyssa Robens to set the pace for the Rams in the near-future.