As college basketball’s March Madness heats up, New York’s version of March Madness is winding down with Jamestown High School and Sherman Central School heavily involved.
JHS advanced to this weekend’s state semifinal game by defeating Aquinas, 60-58, featuring a 40-foot 3-pointed at the end of the third quarter by junior guard Trey Drake. The Sherman varsity girls team, meanwhile, advanced after a 35-29 victory over Batavia-Notre Dame in a tightly contested game that featured Sherman’s trademark gritty defense.
Both programs have made deep runs in the state playoff tournament in past years, but after two years of canceled playoffs and disrupted seasons there is something particularly sweet about the success seen by both state semifinal squads as well as the wrestlers and swimmers who advanced to state -level competitions.
It’s not as if our area has suddenly been gifted hard-working athletes. They’ve been here all along. But the return of state playoffs shines a spotlight on a group of teenagers who have nearly reached the pinnacle of their chosen sport after fighting through the challenges of COVID-19 for the past two seasons.
The athletes’ perseverance is a good lesson for everyone as we work to return to life as we knew it before the pandemic. So good luck, Jamestown and Sherman, as you take the court. We’ve enjoyed being on this ride with you.