Accustomed to championships, both of the Section III and state variety, fans of the Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball had to find the 2011-12 season quite jarring.
Instead of total domination, the Red Rams were, by its high standards, quite ordinary, barely staying above the .500 mark and falling early in the Section III Class A playoffs – though it came at the hands of powerful Bishop Ludden, who did reach the state final four in Glens Falls.
With that out of the way – and with help from a dominant JV team on the way – head coach Bob McKenney and his staff got to work for 2013-14, determined to get J-D back to the top.
In the first week of the regular season, the Rams would test itself, facing Nottingham Saturday as part of the Peppino’s Invitational at Henninger High School, a renewal of a classic hoops rivalry from decades past.
And after all kinds of early problems, J-D, sparked by the tandem of Jafar Kinsey and Dom DeRegis, caught up, and then moved in front in the latter stages to beat the Bulldogs 72-64.
Remarkably, the Rams did not get a field goal in the game’s first six-plus minutes, falling behind 13-4. But it didn’t let Nottingham get away, either, as it cut the gap to 13-8 despite Kinsey not registering a point in the first quarter.
That changed quickly, as the Robert Morris-bound Kinsey put up 10 points in the second quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers. That sparked the rest of the Rams, who started making baskets of their own, producing a 28-27 lead at the half.
Though a tense third quarter with end-to-end action, Nottingham regained the lead, 43-36, but J-D countered with a 10-2 run, even though it would still trail, 47-46, going to the final period.