RAM TOUGH-DRIVE FOR FIVE CONTINUES AS JD BULLS PAST NEW HARTFORD 62-44
Tall order…New Hartford sophomore Mark Chanatry (33), who stands at 6’2″ himself, gets his first glimpse of J-D’s Dajuan Coleman, a 6’10″ senior, prior to the opening tip.
DEJAUN COLEMAN SCORES 31 AS JD RETURNS TO CLASS A FINALS
Fred Miller-MHTS-Photos-Jeff Pexton-MHTS-PGI
All they had and then some. That’s exactly what the New Hartford Spartans boys basketball team threw at the state’s #1 ranked Jamesville-Dewitt Red Rams, now 18-2 after tonight’s 62-44 win over New Hartford.
Problem is, trying to budge or move future SU Orange starter Dajaun Coleman, out of the paint, is like…well “Ramming” your head against a wall.
A man-child, playing against a spirited bunch of New Hartford Spartans who now know what it must have been like for Sancho Panza as he went out chasing windmills or how the Lilliputians must have felt trying to tie down the giant in Gulliver’s Travels.
If you think this is a stretch, just take a look at our lead photo in this story, with Coleman looming large over New Hartford’s Mark Chanatry, before the game’s tip.
Coleman scored 31 points and took over a game that had gone New Hartford’s way for almost three quarters, in the Bear’s Lair at Chittenango High School, in tonight’s Class A semifinal matchup.
Coleman put his teammates on his broad shoulders, with three minutes left to go in the third, when he threw down one of a steady stream of thunder-dunks that seemed to take the fight out of the Spartans.
The majority of his 19 second half points came on rim rattling dunks, set up off inbounds passes from teammates who were happy to oblige the gentle giant.
After the third dunk off the inbounds play, JD had broken open a one point game as they led, 32-31 to pull away and lead by seven, 40-33, with just eight minutes to go.
How Jamesville-Dewitt coach Bob Mckenny doesn’t feel guilty about fielding a quintet led by two Division I prospects, is beyond me.
As you know, Coleman will be headed to Syracuse University next year to wreak havoc in the Big East.
You also probably know that his partner in crime, Tyler Cavanaugh, is taking his 6”9” frame to the Atlantic Coast Conference to play for the Wake Forrest Demon Deacons.
Speaking of forests, that is just two much tall timber on the court for most high school teams to contend with, as the dynamic duo look to bring home the school’s fifth consecutive New York State Class A Championship in a row. Enough already!
Cavanaugh chipped in 22 big ones to help lead the Rams back to the finals. I am not a math whiz, but Cavanaugh’s 22 and Coleman’s 31 adds up to 53 of the Ram’s 64 total points.
The Tri-Valley League representatives from New Hartford High traveled west on the thruway not wanting to just compete but to beat.
The Spartans were looking to get back in the win column and grab their first Section III title since 2006-2007.
It looked like that just might happen, as Randall’s Rangers jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead after Mark Chanarty banged home a three ball and Derek German hit a free throw with 6:50 left in the opening quarter.
The lead was suddenly six, when Jordan Henderson snuck past the big boys to bank one in off glass, as the Spartans led 9-3.
JD looked shaky in the early going and New Hartford could have done some major damage in the first half if they had not turned the ball over. In fact, the Spartans led 12-9 after one.
We all started to believe, as New Hartford suddenly led by nine, 18-9, when Jared Henderson canned a long high arching three, one of the four he deposited on the night, to account for 12 of his, team high 14 points, with just under seven minutes left in the half.
A 13-5 Ram’s run brought fans back to earth, as JD grabbed its first lead of the night, 24-23, as Coleman scored with 1:30 to go until halftime. Coleman scored six straight for JD as the tourney’s #1 seed was up three, 28-25, at the break.
Robert Broccoli finished off a, picture perfect, drive to keep it close at 32-29 with 4:07 to go in the third quarter.
The final eight minutes was all about too much Coleman and Cavanaugh ,as the big boys wore the Spartans down, helping JD outscore New Hartford 22-11 down the stretch.
Ten of Coleman’s 19 points in the second half came on dunks. His most ferocious throwdown came off a pass from Cavanaugh on a fast break that gave the Red Rams a 50-37 lead with less than five minutes remaining in the game.
With the loss, New Hartford closes out the campaign with a record of 15-5. The Spartans had entered action having won eleven straight and ranked #22 in the latest New York State Polls.
The Spartans should be tough again next year, as they bring back most of the members of this up and coming team. Two Spartans played their last games and both will be missed, Derek German and Robert Broccoli.
By the way, Dajuan Coleman didn’t look good to me, in white, as a member of the Rams but he sure will look pretty in Orange next year!
The Red Rams will play Cortland at 6:30 p.m. on March 4 at the Carrier Dome for the Section III, Class A title.
Jamesville-Dewitt 62 New Hartford 44
1 2 3 4 Total
New Hartford 12 13 8 11 44
Jamesville-Dewitt 9 19 12 22 62
MHTS Scoring Summary: