The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake boys basketball team needed more than a miracle to defeat Jamesville-DeWitt Saturday. It needed a 12-foot moveable brick wall.
That would have been the only thing that could have stopped Dajuan Coleman.
Jamesville-DeWitt's 6-foot, 8-inch tall sophomore center that's right, a 6-8 sophomore scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the state's No. 1-ranked Class A team past an undersized, out-gunned BH-BL squad 67-32 in last Saturday's regional final at Hudson Valley Community College.
The Spartans (11-12) did everything they could to stop Coleman and his Red Ram teammates, but a 30-8 third quarter did them in.
"I thought we had a lot of energy at the beginning," said BH-BL coach George Dudas. "Obviously, their size took over."
Coleman wasn't the only Jamesville-DeWitt player creating problems for the Spartans. Guard Lamar Kearse started hitting three-pointers during the decisive third-quarter run and finished with 17 points for the Red Rams (22-0).
Meanwhile, BH-BL never got its offense going. Jamesville-DeWitt's big men kept Zach Morton and Jacob Meyers away from the basket, and outside of Keaton Flint's 12-point night, the Spartans had a hard time hitting jump shots.
"[Their size] took us out of our element," said Dudas. "I told the guys before the game we'd have to play a near-perfect game and hit some 15-footers, which we had trouble with in this gym [before]."
"I thought we came out and defended really well," said Jamesville-DeWitt coach Bob McKenney. "We knew No. 32 [Morton] was a great player, and I thought we defended him well."
The loss ended an improbable playoff run for BH-BL. After finishing the regular season with a 7-11 record, the Spartans overcame a poor shooting performance to upset South Glens Falls 28-27 in the Section II quarterfinals. From there, they defeated Ichabod Crane and Lansingburgh to win their first Sectional title in five years.