Dec 18, 2006 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Sure, the Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball team left Manley Field House Sunday night on the wrong end of an 81-75 decision with Niagara Falls in the featured game of the HoopHall Classic.
Yet the Red Rams also walked out with an increased amount of respect — both the team for the way it battled a long-time state Class AA power to the wire, and its top player for the way he held up against a superstar two years his senior.
Brandon Triche picked quite a time to have one of the finest outings of his brief high school career. The sophomore accumulated 31 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals and had J-D within range of victory all the way to the end.
In doing so, Triche earned the full respect of Falls senior (and Syracuse University recruit) Johnny Flynn, the game’s other main attraction.
“Brandon is a great player,” said Flynn. “But I didn’t know just how good he was until I played against him.”
Of course, Flynn had his own star turn, getting 33 points, 16 of them in the fourth quarter to help the Wolverines come from behind.
Despite that, Triche said the Rams could take plenty of pride from the effort it put up against Niagara Falls, a state Class AA finalist each of the last two years.
“As a team, we played great,” he said. “This type of loss can’t bring us down.”
Players or fans, no one at Manley was let down by this game, a tense, exciting and high-octane battle which featured 16 ties and 15 lead changes.
Falls made the first move, going up 16-11 after one quarter, but the Rams quickly turned it around as Triche and Alshwan Hymes (10 points each in the first half) helped J-D forge a 34-34 halftime tie.
The sophomore duo had to keep it up, since Nick Pascale and Mickey Davis both found foul trouble in the third quarter. All game long, Pascale would struggle, getting just five points and three rebounds against Falls’ forimidable front line.
At one point in that third period, the Wolverines built a 48-40, and the frustration over some calls led head coach Bob McKenney to draw a technical foul.
J-D didn’t panic, though, pulling back within one by quarters’s end, then sprinting to the front as Triche hit on five consecutive points at the start of the fourth quarter.
By the middle part of the final period, the Rams led 65-60, but when Flynn returned off the bench, he took over.
A lay-up and two free throws helped tie it, 65-65, and when Flynn drove to the net and scored with 2:05 left, Falls led 69-67.
After an exchange of baskets, Flynn got it back and, with 1:02 left, flew to the basket and scored as he was fouled. Flynn celebrated a bit too much and drew a technical foul, but the Rams now looked at a 74-69 deficit.
Triche would not surrender, getting all six of his team’s points in the final minute. Answering with poise and confidence, Flynn drained all six of his free throws in the final 30 seconds to help Falls hang on.
Remarkably, Triche and Hymes, who finished with 21 points, were the lone J-D players to score in double figures. Rashon Tabb (16 points) and Ricardo Rose (15 points) gave Flynn support.
So ended the Rams’ season-opening, six-game win streak, one that had continued the previous Friday when J-D rolled past Phoenix 82-31.
Everyone got to play as Mickey Davis led J-D with 18 points. Triche was close behind, with 16 points, while Pascale put up 13 points.
Right after Niagara Falls, the Rams got some rest before making a Friday-night trip to Chittenango, its lone game before appearing in the CBA Holiday Tournament on Dec. 29 and 30.
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