DeWitt All season long, the youthful Jamesville-DeWitt girls basketball team has gained experience - and got results, posting a 14-2 record that included a 10-game winning streak heading into the Friday night’s match-up against another 14-2 squad, West Genesee from the Class AA ranks.
This non-league bout figured to be a perfect measuring stick for how far the Red Rams had come this season, and it put together an overall high-quality performance leading to a nail-biting 51-48 victory that came down to a missed desperation heave by the Wildcats' Jackie Pardee.
With 3.7 seconds left in the game, J-D was tasked with in-bounding the ball against the ferocious WG full-court press. The Rams turned it over, as it had done so many other times in the fourth quarter, but Pardee could only manage to put up an air ball on a possible game-tying shot as time ran out.
Before all this, the Rams had come out slow in the first quarter, allowing the Wildcats a 6-0 lead before scoring its first basket. J-D closed the gap to 6-5, but WG’s senior-heavy roster was able to shut down the Red Rams for the remainder of the quarter, ending the quarter up 15-8.
The Wildcats continued to do as it pleased in the second period, but its shots simply weren’t falling. On one possession, J-D gave up three offensive rebounds, but WG couldn't score.
Thanks to Meg Hair, the eighth-grade phenom who scored six of her squad’s 10 points in the frame, J-D had all the momentum entering halftime, despite trailing 22-18.
Then J-D opened the second half with an 8-1 run that included a Hair lay-up to go ahead for the first time. And although the Wildcats would not lead again, the game was in no way devoid of drama.
Pardee and Hair traded two three pointers each before J-D closed the third quarter on an 11-1 run, entering the last eight minutes up 40-31. Still, the Wildcats were far from done, and it upped the intensity to set the stage for the tense final sequence.