SYRACUSE The second time around, Jamesville-DeWitt's girls basketball team hoped that its journey through the state Class A tournament went longer than it did in 2012, when Averill Park took them out 46-40 in the regional round.
Yet when the Red Rams faced another Section II foe, Troy, in Tuesday's regional opener at Le Moyne College, the exact same thing happened as J-D lost by that exact same six-point margin, this one ending 49-43 in the Flying Horses' favor.
What was a tie game at halftime turned early in the third quarter, when Troy went on an 11-3 run to pull ahead for good. Then the Flying Horses held on as J-D constantly tried to come back, but were denied by a pair of untimely scoring droughts.
"They (Troy) got to the rim and got second-shot opportunities," said J-D head coach Rob Siechen. "We took quick shots because they defended us well and are very athletic."
Even with the experience edge in terms of state tournament play, the Rams were blanked in the game's first four minutes, struggling against Troy's full-court pressure, which though its speed recovered well even when J-D broke past mid-court and thought it had open looks, but did not.
Despite this, Cydney Goodrum, accounting for all of the points in the period, pushed the Rams in front 7-6, and it kept pace in the second quarter despite eight points from Troy guard Courtney Avery. Kayleigh Cavanaugh's jumper, just before the half, evened it 20-20, seemingly giving J-D a bit of momentum going to the break.
But as soon as the third quarter started, Troy tore up the Rams' vaunted defense, seizing a 31-23 lead. Flying Horses head coach Paul Bearup said he switched to a smaller lineup, and that threw J-D off its defensive rhythm as it, for a time, could not keep up, either in the paint or on the boards.