Proving that it could rule over its Catholic-school rivals, the Bishop Grimes girls basketball team brought in three of them for last week's holiday tournament in East Syracuse and still found its way to the first-place trophy.
In last Monday night's opening round, the Cobras jumped all over Rome Catholic on its way to a 70-32 rout over the Red Wings.
All it took was six minutes for Grimes to shoot out to a 20-2 advantage, applying defensive pressure that led to baskets on the other end. It was 24-6 by the end of the period, with Amanda Marcely (nine points) and Amelia Heiselman (eight points) doing most of the damage.
Though it settled down in the second quarter, Grimes resumed its onslaught with a 21-8 domination of the third quarter, eventually hitting on eight 3-pointers to negate the Red Wings' zone defense.
Marcely was superb, finishing with 19 points, plus seven rebounds and four assists. Hitting on four 3-pointers, Heiselman had 14 points, while Tenley Pitonzo picked up seven points. Andrea Blake and Emma Kelley had six points apiece, with Ali Kelley and Cady Kalemba each gaining five points.
Earlier that night, Watertown IHC beat Utica-Notre Dame 39-34, so the Cobras would square off with the Cavaliers in Tuesday night's final.
The title game between Grimes and IHC would prove to be a tight one, with terrific defense on both ends -- but the Cobras would prevail by a score of 42-35.
Every possession was challenged, and every basket proved to be precious. With supreme effort with its full-court traps, Grimes held IHC to just 10 field goals all night, inching to a 30-21 lead through three periods and hanging on from there.
Marcely was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, getting 14 points and a season-best 12 rebounds. Eight of those 14 points came from the foul line as Grimes, as a team, hit on 17 of 24 foul shots.
Heiselman, another All-Tournament selection, matched Kalemba with 10 points as Kalemba also picked up four steals. For the Cavaliers, Caitlyn McGraw and Jilllian Young led the way with 11 points apiece. Utica-Notre Dame beat Rome Catholic 60-37 in the consolation game.
The Cobras, now sporting an 8-1 record, face a couple of tough tests in the first full week of 2009 as it visited Onondaga on Tuesday and hosts Tully Thursday night.