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Cobras run win streak to 10, advance to B-1 finals

All is wonderful in the lives of the Bishop Grimes boys basketball team, who stand just one victory from attaining the Section III Class B-1 championship -- something that, a month ago, few of its fans could have imagined.

From 5-7 mediocrity, the Cobras have roared to win 10 games in a row, the latest of them a 64-51 victory over Marcellus in last Friday's B-1 semifinals at Onondaga Community College.

By doing this, Grimes (15-7) earned the right to come back to OCC Wednesday night and face Westhill (17-5) for the B-1 title. The winner gets Hannibal or Lowville in the overall Class B final Sunday at Manley Field House.

Senior Eric Ball, who had 17 points against Marcellus, said the players did nothing magical to turn its season around.

"We just worked hard and started to play together (better) as a team, and not care who does the scoring," he said. "It's special playing with this team."

Even though the Cobras were the no. 4 seed and the Mustangs the top seed going into this B-1 semifinal, Grimes' hot late-season run (which was kick-started by a Jan. 15 win at Marcellus) had evened the terms.

And right from the opening tip, the Cobras dictated the terms to Marcellus, using full-court pressure to force turnovers and get easy baskets on the other end. An 11-2 run midway through the first quarter put Grimes ahead for good.

Head coach Jamie Evans said his team's fast start, a contrast from previous games, gave the Cobras confidence to succeed the rest of the way.

Sure enough, after that early spurt, Grimes turned the game into a long chase that frustrated the Mustangs at every turn.

Marcellus put pressure on the perimeter, trying to lock up Ball and fast-rising freshman Mike Stone. All that did, though, was leave forward Frank Majka open underneath for a series of lay-ups as Majka led the Cobras with 20 points.

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