With a little under five minutes to play and his team trailing by 12 to Westhill in last Wednesday night's Section III Class B-1 final, Bishop Grimes boys basketball head coach Jamie Evans called a much-needed time-out and assured his squad that they were still in the game.
"I said the game wasn't over," Evans said. "There's no give-up in this team. We got a lot of heart and I told them that if we could be a little bit patient then we could get some turnovers and cut that lead in half."
The no. 4 seed Cobras responded to the wise words of their coach and went on a furious 25-5 run the rest of the way to defeat the Warriors 63-55 in the B-1 final at Onondaga Community College.
After controlling the first half, Grimes took a 33-23 lead into halftime. It seemed as if the Cobras were well on its way to an 11th consecutive victory. But Westhill had other plans.
The Warriors came out and showed its defensive prowess in the third quarter as it held the Cobras to just two points the entire period. This enabled Westhill to take a 40-35 lead into the final period.
Thanks in large part to the efforts of Dan Ross and Mike Stirpe, Westhill (17-6) continued to increase their advantage in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter, building its lead up 50-38 with 4:45 left in the contest.
That's when Grimes showed their heart and charged back, mainly due to a suffocating full-court press implemented by Evans.
Cobra defenders harassed the Warrior players and made them throw the ball away on multiple occasions. When Westhill wasn't turning the ball over, it was forced into calling time-outs because they were pressured into corners. The Warriors just could not advance the ball past half-court without handing it over.