Feb 16, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
A rare occurrence will take place Tuesday night during the quarterfinals of the Section III Class A boys basketball playoffs.
Jamesville-DeWitt, for so long the side that ruled Class A, both in the area and in the state, will enter as a prohibitive underdog to no. 2 seed and reigning state Class B champion Bishop Ludden, not expected to move past this round.
At least the no. 7 seed Red Rams (11-8) go there playing some of its best basketball of the season, especially on the defensive side, which was reflected in Friday night’s 53-36 first-round victory over no. 10 seed Mexico.
Right from the opening tip, J-D was in good form as Jafar Kinsey, taking the pass from Matt King, barreled to the basket and, when the defense ran toward him, hit a low-percentage jumper.
Then it was the defense’s turn. Jeff Edwards, so valuable since returning from injury in late December, stole three errant Mexico passes that led to points in an opening 10-3 spurt, and it cruised through the rest of the first quarter, stretching the lead to 16-8.
Another Kinsey drive, this one leading to a lay-up, got J-D moving in the second quarter, and while its production remained modest, the Rams’ defense remained stingy against Mexico and the margin grew to 28-17 by halftime.
Once the Rams started the second half on a 7-2 run, Mexico could not catch up, held to five points in the entire third quarter as the Rams’ constant pressure took a toll, despite the Tigers’ Patrick Twiss eventually leading both sides with 17 points.
Kinsey, with 15 points, was the lone J-D player to score in double figures. But six different players earned at least two field goals, including Dom DeRegis, who had nine points, and Edwards and Evan Dourdas, who had six points apiece.
Just as J-D was earning its shot at Ludden (whom it lost to 57-45 back on Dec. 4), East Syracuse-Minoa, the no. 9 seed in Class A, was on the brink of knocking out no. 8 seed Oneida, only to see the Indians rally and, in overtime, eliminate the Spartans 67-64.
With less than four minutes left, ESM had a 56-48 lead, having surged in the second half after trailing 33-25 at the break. Evan Reader earned 10 of his 12 points in the third quarter to put the Spartans in front, 45-44, and baskets from Eyan Underwood (who had 19 points) built the margin early in the final period.
But when Richardson, who finished with 19 points (14 of them in the first half to keep his side close), fouled out with 2:15 left, Oneida went on an 8-0 run to pull even, 56-56, before Dan MacDougall’s 3-pointer pushed ESM back in front.
Again the Indians fought back, tying it at 59-59, and when Kyle Peck was fouled twice in the last 30 seconds, he looked like he would put Oneida ahead. Incredibly, Peck missed all four foul shots, and ESM lived to see overtime.
Shaking off his misses, Peck promptly made back-to-back baskets early in the OT period, putting Oneida up 65-61. For the rest of the four-minute frame, ESM crept closer, but never caught up, unable to get a potential tying 3-pointer off in the waning seconds.
Peck finished with 29 points, but had ample help from Lucas Durant (14 points), Matt Carinci (13 points) and Tyler Kuhn (10 points). Underwood got 17 points, two behind Richardson, while Brandon Breen managed eight points for the Spartans, whose season ended with an 8-11 record.