Sydney Balotin and Grace Evans
This upcoming weekend (Dec. 8 and 9) the Jamesville-Dewitt High School Girls Varsity Basketball team is hosting the 3rd annual Best of New York basketball tournament. J-D will compete in this tournament against other very good teams around New York. Bishop Kearney (Rochester, NY), Sacred Heart (Buffalo, NY), and Colonie (Albany, NY) are the teams that are traveling to Syracuse in order to compete at a high level.
The Red Rams have been putting forth their best effort to adjust to the loss of graduated seniors Meg Hair, Jamie Boeheim, and Kasey Vaughan. “Our style of playing has changed a lot… we’ve been working on our shooting and running the court because those are our strengths this year,” said junior Co-Captain Andrea Sumida.
The girls have also been playing in scrimmages. So far, they’ve played West Genesee High School, Central North Syracuse High School, Elmira High School, and Norwich High School. Like the start of any pre-season team, “there’s still room for improvement,” said Sumida.
Going into the tournament the girls know their competition will be hard. They kick off their season in a game against Sacred Heart. “Whoever we play Sunday will be our biggest competition… Colonie is really good,” said junior Co-Captain Paige Keeler.
Junior Gabby Stickle knows that the competition is going to be challenging, but is confident in her team’s ability to win this weekend. “We obviously want to win because this is such a big tournament… these are teams from Buffalo, Rochester, all over, and they are going to be good,” said Stickle.
In addition to having practice the night before the tournament, the girls are going to have a team breakfast Saturday morning. Prior to their first game, they will perform their traditional locker room ritual in order to get in the zone and have a positive outcome.
The Best of New York tournament will be held at Jamesville-Dewitt High School throughout the weekend of Dec. 8 and 9. On Saturday, J-D will face Sacred Heart at 6 p.m., and following, Colonie will face Bishop Kearney. On Sunday, the semi-final game will be held at 11:30 a.m., and the championship game right after.