SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — After the East Syracuse Minoa boys basketball team defeated Jamesville-DeWitt 49-47 earlier in the year, the J-D Red Rams have been waiting for another crack at the Spartans.
On Tuesday, February 4, they will get their chance.
“We want to come and shock the world this year, we want to win leagues, and we want to win sectionals, and it starts with this game,” said ESM junior point guard Devin Mascato-Buffaloe.
“It’s a big matchup,” Matthew Cieplicki, a Jamesville-DeWitt senior forward, said. “They beat us last time by two, as you said, and we are definitely coming in working as hard as we can to try and get back at them and win.”
Two free throws with five seconds left and a steal by Naiche Cook sealed the two-point victory for the Spartans the first time around, and now the two teams are ready for the rematch.
“It’s a big game for us,” ESM senior forward Naiche Cook said. “J-D, as you know, is ESM’s rival, and it’s at our home turf and we are ready to put on a show.”
Jamesville-DeWitt senior forward Payton Shumpert said, “We’re ready to go, we’ll be ready to play, fun game, it will be a good high school game to go to.”
J-D will be hungry, after they had their worst offensive performance of the season the first time the Spartans and Red Rams met.
“I think we were a little selfish with the ball, so we’ve been working on our ball movement and running our offensive sets a little better and with a little more discipline. I think with that, hopefully we will put up more than 47,” Cieplicki said.
The Spartans were able to slow down the tempo and hold J-D’s leading scorer, Payton Shumpert, to 15 points, something they will try to replicate on Tuesday.
“We want to limit how many times [Payton] has a chance to shoot,” James Kilpatrick, ESM’s head coach, said. “So we held the ball a couple times, not necessarily because we wanted to, they played good defense too, 30-32 seconds, so it minimized how many chances he had to shoot.”
Mascato-Buffaloe said, “What we try to do is take them out of their rhythm. So, when we play on offense their not playing on offense, so we want to take 35 seconds off every time.”
J-D isn’t necessarily worried about their offense moving forward. For the Red Rams, it all comes down to: “Defense, absolute defense,” Jamesville-DeWitt head coach Jeff Ike said.
Ike continued, “We held them to 49, we were there, we were in our 3-2 zone, we just got beat up, we got beat up in the paint.”
A big reason for that is ESM’s six-foot-eight center Nick Peterson. However, teams can’t just focus on guarding Peterson because ESM has other weapons.
“They have shooters from the outside,” Ike said. “So, you give up one, you sacrifice the other, you try to take away the inside, and it’s going to open up Devin and it’s going to open up Jones to make some outside shots.”
Mascato-Buffaloe said, “Teams who look at us and they think that they can take us out, it’s hard because they can’t just take out one player, they got to take out many players. We’re a team, we’re not just one single player, and that’s what is special about us.”
ESM will look to continue their special season when they host Jamesville-DeWitt on Tuesday night for NewsChannel 9’s Game of the Week.
All the action will be streamed live at localsyr.com starting at approximately 6:45 p.m.
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For more local news, follow Anthony Scott on Twitter @A_Scott17