Once more, the Jamesville-DeWitt girls basketball team has made it to Troy, with a fourth consecutive state Class A championship in sight.
The Red Rams rolled past Franklin Academy 77-47 in Saturday’s regional final at SUNY-Potsdam, just as the J-D boys were denied its own trip to the state final four in a 78-56 defeat to Troy in its regional title game at SRC Arena.
All of the drama for J-D’s girls had come back on Tuesday, when it survived blowing a 13-point fourth-quarter lead to outlast Section II champion Averill Park in overtime.
Here, the Rams were in control from the outset, speeding out to a 22-11 lead on Franklin before the first quarter was done and not letting up until it had a 64-33 edged at the end of the third period.
Gabby Stickle had another hot shooting effort, earning most of her 24 points through six 3-pointers. Paige Keeler contributed 14 points, with Andrea Sumida adding 12 points.
Now J-D will face Pittsford Mendon in the state Class A semifinals next Saturday at 10:45 a.m. Mendon beat J-D 43-40 late in January, but had to survive double overtime with Lake Shore (Section VI) 68-66 in its regional final to get this far.
Unlike its female counterparts, J-D’s boys side did not have to go through an extra regional round after it defeated Bishop Grimes at the Carrier Dome in last Sunday’s Section III final.
But that didn’t make things easier, since Troy was a formidable Section II champion. The Flying Horses arrived with a 20-4 record and had blasted Franklin Academy 94-52 in its regional opener earlier in the week.
Troy intended to push the game’s tempo, and didn’t get discouraged when the Rams took a 12-6 lead in the opening minutes. Instead, the Flying Horses put together a sustained run to seize control for good.
Led by Lateef Johnson, Troy burned J-D with a 25-4 spurt that bridged the first and second quarters. Johnson finished the first half with 15 points.
Even with Payton Shumpert getting 12 points and Preston Shumpert adding eight points, the Rams, who made 10 of 19 shots, found itself trailing 40-28 at halftime, needing a run of its own to turn things around.
Briefly J-D cut the deficit to single digits, 44-35, only to have Johnson hit a 3-pointer to help Troy pull away again. The Flying Horses pushed the margin to 55-39 by the end of the third quarter.
If there were any doubts, Troy erased them with a 13-3 push in the fourth quarter, Johnson finishing with 32 points and nine rebounds and teammate Latyce Faison adding 16 points. Point guard Nazaire Merritt was held scoreless, but contributed seven assists and six rebounds.
Only Payton Shumpert (19 points) and Preston Shumpert (11 points) hit double figures for J-D as Matt Cieplicki had eight points and Max Schulman, mired in foul trouble, got seven points.