East Syracuse All of the excuses for the Jamesville-DeWitt girls basketball team were lined up before the 2013-14 season even tipped off.
Not only were the Red Rams replacing four starters and introducing young faces to its lineup, its schedule got blown up by four different weather-related postponements in December and January.
Instead of dwelling on the problems, though, J-D has simply coped with them and still flourished, emerging as the clear favorite for a third consecutive Section III Class A title.
In many ways, Monday night’s 57-44 victory by the Rams over East Syracuse-Minoa offered a primer into its season-long process, as it battled through inconsistency but, at times, put on a dazzling all-around display.
For much of the first half, ESM was able to find open shots against J-D’s usually formidable defense. Stephanie Edmonds, in particular, flourished, getting 12 points in the first two periods and helping the Spartans go up, 21-18, late in the second quarter.
Then it all changed in the two minutes before halftime. The Rams picked up its pressure, which led to ESM turnovers and baskets on the other end as part of an 11-0 run that closed the half.
From there, J-D controlled matters in the second half, letting ESM get within seven, 30-23, early in the third quarter, and within eight, 41-33, in the final period before using an 8-0 run in the latter instance to seal the victory.
Junior Alyssa Robens led the charge, with 16 points. Eighth-grader Meg Hair, emerging as the Rams’ prime scoring option off the bench, put in 11 points, while fellow eighth-grader Kasey Vaughan stepped up for 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.Freshman Angela Bussone had eight points, while junior Maddy Frank had seven points.
On ESM’s side, Edmonds cooled off in the second half, but still had 15 points to lead the way. Sydni Eure got most of her 14 points after the break as Haley Wise added six points.