By Gus Weinstein
“Our goal for this year is to work as hard as possible and to play to our full potential,” said senior captain Jafar Kinsey. The Jamesville-DeWitt Boys Varsity Basketball team has high hopes for this season. “I believe we have the potential to will a state title but it is going to take a lot of hard work and toughness,” said senior captain David Antosh.
The boys basketball team finished last season with an uncharacteristic 10-9 record. The Red Rams ended last year’s season with a lost to their bitter rivals Bishop Ludden in a sectional quarterfinal game. But they are ready to bounce back with a successful season. “We are young but we have an experienced backcourt with Jafar (Kinsey) and Dom (Deregis),” said junior forward Jake Eich.
The boys started off their season with a win on Wednesday, Dec. 4 against the Fulton Red Raiders. Dom Degeris led the team with a strong 20 points. Right behind him with 17 points was Jafar Kinsey. “Dom and Jafar are the key to our season. We need them to play well if we want to contend for a state title,” said junior Evan Dourdas who scored 16 points against the Red Raiders. Kinsey, a Robert Morris commit, averaged 21 points last season and is looking to propel his team into the state tournament. Degeris, an up-and-coming junior who averaged 13 points last season, believes that the Rams just have to work hard and work together if they want to be successful. Then J-D went on to win their next game against a “pretty good” Nottingham team at the Peppino's Invitational basketball tournament at Henninger. Kinsey scored 26 points and at one point drained three straight threes to give the Rams a 72-64 win over the Bulldogs.
“Losing to (Bishop) Ludden was hard to swallow but we need learn to bounce back and play as a team this year,” said Degeris. The whole team agreed that Bishop Ludden will be their toughest opponent this season, Ludden is the reigning sectional and regional champions. “They have a lot more size than us, and some really experienced big men,” said Eich. “But I think we can use our quickness to beat them outside.” The Red Rams only play the Gaelic Knights once this season, it is an away game.
All the captains were unanimous when talking about fans’ and critics’ expectations. “No one thinks that we are any good. Since the J-D program is known for its sectional and state titles and we didn’t win anything last year,” said junior Brain Ciepliki. “We have everything to prove. If we work as a team and work hard in practice I think we can prove everyone wrong,” said senior captain Griffin Johnson.