When the final horn sounded at Hudson Valley Community College, the Jamesville-DeWitt Varsity Girls Basketball team rushed the court to celebrate a successful defense of their New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class A State Championship. The Red Rams defeated the Mednon High School Vikings 48-46 to capture their second consecutive state championship.
“It was really cool to be able to go back-to-back,” said junior Meg Hair; “it is cool to see when all your hard work pays off.”
Hair was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player for the second year in a row. “It felt awesome to receive that award, but my teammates really helped by playing well, too, so the other teams couldn’t just focus on me,” said Hair.
The Red Rams made their run at a repeat title without star junior guard Kasey Vaughn, whose season ended with an ankle sprain early in playoffs. However, the team didn’t miss a beat as freshman Gabrielle Stickle and eight grader Momoka LaClair split time filling in for Vaughn to supplement the stellar play of seniors Julia Klener and Angela Bussone, along with Hair and fellow junior Jamie Boeheim.
“Gabby and Momo were great. I wasn’t nervous with them in there because they’re great basketball players and they were more than ready to step up,” said Vaughn.
Kelner and Bussone finish their career as Red Rams with four state championship appearances and two state championships, as well as back-to-back New York State Federations Championship appearances. “It’s awesome to go out like that,” said Kelner.
Those back-to-back appearances in the Federations championship games ended in similar fashion with three- and four- point losses to Staten Island Acadmey, an independent school.
“Obviously it didn’t end how we would’ve liked it to, but we played really hard,” said Bussone. Kelner agreed, and added that it was still cool to be able to get there twice and be in a position to win both games.
As Kelner and Bussone head off to Bryant University and William Smith College, respectively, the Red Rams look to continue their success next season with eight returning players, including three starters.
“I’m excited for next year. I think we have the talent, experience, and work ethic to make another great run,” said Hair.