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Grimes girls rally past Fabius-Pompey, win league title

In one night, all that the Bishop Grimes girls basketball team could have wanted out of a regular season came rushing to them.

With a furious second-half comeback, the Cobras knocked off Fabius-Pompey 47-42. That result, combined with Weedsport's 56-47 home loss to Onondaga, gave Grimes outright possession of the OHSL Patriot division title -- the program's 19th league championship.

None was attained in a more exciting way. Grimes started well, watched F-P take over in the middle stages, then saved its best work for the homestretch.

Fired up on her Senior Night, Jill Tucci pushed the Cobras to a 16-10 first-quarter advantage by getting all eight of her points in that opening frame.

Just as quickly, though, Grimes hit a slump, managing just five points in the second quarter as the Falcons, staying patient, slashed the margin to 21-20 by halftime.

Now it was F-P's turn to get hot, exploiting the foul trouble plaguing several Grimes players as it built a 36-31 lead with a quarter to play.

But Grimes had made comebacks before, so it knew what to do -- increase the pressure on defense, and finish off plays on the other end.

This is exactly what took place, as the pressure forced F-P to make turnovers, and Grimes converted to get back in the lead by the final seconds of regulation. There, both Cady Kalemba and Amelia Heiselman sank two free throws to put the Falcons away.

For the night, Heiselman led with 11 points, while Kalemba got nine points. Inside, Tenley Pitonzo and Amanda Marcely each had six rebounds, with Pitonzo matching Tucci with eight points and Marcely getting seven points. For F-P, Lauren Scalisi had 15 points and Christi Gage added 11 points.

Two nights earlier, the Cobras completed a regular-season sweep of Pulaski, taking out the Blue Devils 56-36.

Gradually, Grimes used its defense to keep Pulaski in check throughout the first half. All the while, the offense improved, culminating in a fourth quarter where it put the Blue Devils away with a 21-11 explosion.

Marcely worked inside and found easy baskets all night on her way to 21 points, a new career high. Cassidy Weeks and Pitonzo helped with six points apiece, while Kelley and Kalemba each got five points.

After Monday's regular-season finale against Tully, the Cobras (16-3) will find out where it will go for the Section III Class C playoffs.

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