Now the Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball team’s quest to regain the Section III Class A crown hits its most important phase.
The Red Rams, who finished the regular season 16-2 and riding a 10-game win streak (all of them by double digits), drew the top seed in the Class A bracket, helped in no small part by Carthage, once 17-0, losing to Whitesboro 64-60 in its Feb. 8 regular-season finale.
In a points tie-breaker, J-D inched ahead of no. 2 seed and defending champion Bishop Ludden, despite the Gaelic Knights’ win over the Red Rams in early January. It would face Fowler or Indian River Tuesday night in the quarterfinals.
Before it could go into the playoffs, though, J-D had one more regular-season trip to make, to Homer, and found it to be a breeze as the Rams ripped the Trojans 80-48.
Jafar Kinsey had 22 points and passed Tyler Cavanaugh on J-D’s all-time scoring list, now standing at 1,071 points. Dom DeRegis got most of his 13 points from three 3-pointers, while Isaiah Williams had 11 points and Adrian Autry contributed 10 points.
East Syracuse-Minoa, as the no. 7 seed, would host no. 10 seed New Hartford in the opening round of the Class A tournament on Saturday afternoon, and would not make it out of this Spartan duel, falling by a score of 59-55.
All game long, it would prove tight. New Hartford inched out in front 15-11 going to the second quarter, but ESM made up most of it and only trailed by one, 30-29, at halftime.
Where it all went wrong was in the third quarter, when ESM managed just nine points, allowing New Hartford to get back its cushion, which it would maintain throughout the stretch as Mark Chanatry (21 points), Cooper Deck (15 points) and Adam Zogby (13 points) accounted for most of the offense.