Well-rested and well-prepared, the Westhill boys basketball team was quite ready for a small dose of payback.
Beaten by Bishop Grimes in last year's Section III Class B-1 final, the Warriors took over in the second half last Tuesday night, transforming a modest deficit into a convincing 65-50 win over the Cobras.
Even if Grimes possesses a 1-2 record and a new lineup missing departed 1,000-point scorer Eric Ball, the Cobras still have built a fierce rivalry with Westhill, and for a while had a chance to hurt the Warriors again.
They went back and forth in the first half -- Westhill roaring to a 14-7 lead, Grimes getting red-hot in the second period to go in front, 30-26, as the teams went to halftime.
From there, the Warriors' vaunted defense cracked down, allowing fewer points (20) in the second half than it did in the second quarter alone.
Westhill got all it neded during a 28-10 third-quarter explosion, and more importantly, spread the baskets around, giving future foes new things to worry about.
Dan Ross still led with 15 points, but Mike McMullen added 14 points, most of it from four 3-pointers. Mike Mascari connected from beyond the arc three times on his way to 13 points, while Dan Karleski earned 11 points. Nate Nigolian (eight points) and Justin Biles (six points) accounted for the rest of the offense.
Westhill plays Friday night at Jordan-Elbridge, just as Grimes is home to take on Solvay.