It took the state's No. 1 ranked Class A team to hand the Shenen-dehowa boys basketball team its first loss of the season.
Section III power Jamesville-DeWitt bolted ahead of the Plainsmen early in Saturday night's Coaches vs. Cancer Challenge at Onondaga Community College, and then held off a strong second-half push for a 74-57 victory.
They were a little more physical than we were, said Shen coach Tony Dzikas.
Shen (10-0 league, 11-1 overall) knew what kind of challenge it was facing. J-D won the last two state Class A championships anchored by Brandon Triche, who is now the starting point guard for Syracuse University.
Yet even without Triche, the Red Rams were 12-0 this winter, including a hard-fought victory over Albany Academy in the Jan. 17 finals of the Juggler Classic in Utica. In that game, sophomore center DaJuan Coleman had 35 points and 20 rebounds.
Despite Coleman's presence down low, the Plainsmen held their own in the paint, grabbing 29 total rebounds, one more than J-D. Such work gave Shen a chance to rally in the second half.
Unfortunately for Shen, it got too far behind in the first half. J-D jumped out to a 17-4 lead before Dan Lee sparked the Plainsmen with a pair of three-pointers late in the first quarter. Manny Hernandez then hit some shots to help keep Shen within striking distance at halftime.
Lee got hot again early in the third quarter, as he scored 11 of his team-high 19 points in the period to help the Plainsmen cut J-D's lead to 57-49.
Shen's offense went cold in the fourth quarter, though, as J-D went on an 11-0 run to put the game out of the Plainsmen's reach.
Hernandez had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Matt Miner added 11 points for Shen. Coleman led J-D with 18 points and 12 boards, while Lamar Kearse added 17 points.
The Plainsmen entered Saturday's game against J-D off another impressive Suburban Council performance, as they downed Mohonasen 64-49 last Thursday.
Miner netted 23 points for Shen, which outscored Mohonasen 32-14 in the third quarter to break open a close game.
The Plainsmen host Shaker Friday.
In other boys basketball action, Saratoga Central Catholic improved its Western Athletic Con-ference record to 5-3 with Tuesday's 54-39 victory over Galway. Sean Hobbins had 15 points for the Saints.""