Both the boys and girls basketball teams lost to CBA in their respective sectional championship games yesterday. The girls team lost 45-42, while the boys team was defeated 63-61.
The girls were headed into the matchup with eight straight sectional championships under their belt. The Red Rams have also won three out of the past four state championships.
Doubt over the win came early on in the game. Junior star Momo LaClair went down with a leg injury in the first quarter. At the close of the first period, J-D was still winning, but only by two points.
The game remained close, with each team going on short scoring runs. Senior Paige Keeler led the way for the Red Rams, scoring 18 points. For CBA, Emily Hall was carrying the bulk of the scoring load, ending with 17 points.
Entering the final quarter, CBA was only trailing by six points. They made a final push, despite LaClair temporarily getting back in the game for J-D, and took a three point lead in the final minute of play.
J-D was forced to foul in an attempt to get the ball back, and CBA went on to miss their free throws. This gave the Rams a chance for a potential game-tying three.
Keeler was the player with the last shot. She got the ball at the top of the key, but as she went into her shooting motion, a travel was called. The game, as well as J-D’s eight year streak, was over.
The boys team, who was looking to repeat as sectional champions, had a rough start to the game. Sophomore Dan Anderson from CBA was on fire, hitting multiple threes early in the game. The Red Rams were down by six after the first quater, and the Brothers extended their lead to nine points by halftime.
J-D wasn’t out of the game yet. They switched to a 2-3 zone, which completely neutralized CBA’s offense. The Rams’ stifling defense, along with great shooting from senior Payton Shumpert, sent Jamesville-DeWitt into the last quarter down by only one point.
The fourth quarter was tightly contested throughout. But a turnaround three-point shot by senior Jason Boule put the Red Rams in a tough spot. They were down by three points with just seconds left to play.
Payton Shumpert was fouled with three seconds to play. He nailed his first free throw, and now needed to miss his next shot in hope of an offensive rebound and a score. But when the shot went off the rim, it ended up in the hands of a CBA player.
Both CBA teams will go on to play in the regional tournaments, looking to head to states. J-D will look ahead to avenge their losses next year.