It didn't take long in the 2009-10 season for the Bishop Grimes boys basketball team to be in a bright spotlight.
For the second year in a row, the Cobras would square off with fellow private-school colleague Bishop Ludden as part of Saturday's Peppino's Invitational at Henninger High School.
And this time around, Grimes would prevail, as a big second half from junior standout Mike Stone pushed the Cobras past the Gaelic Knights 50-47.
Grimes saw four seniors depart from last season's 17-5 squad that lost in overtime to Marcellus in the Section III Class B-1 semifinals. However, a solid cast returns, led by Stone, who led the OHSL Liberty division in scoring in 2008-09, averaging nearly 20 points per game.
Stone would be quiet in the first half against a Ludden defense designed to bottle him up. Both sides struggled in the first quarter, but the Cobras' offensive issues lingered as Ludden seized a 22-16 edge going into the break.
As the pace quickened in the second half, so did Stone. He converted on a trio of 3-pointers as Grimes slowly ate away at Ludden's lead, then hit a fourth trey with less than a minute left to put the Cobras ahead for good.
Overall, Stone had 20 points, while Kucjok Ater offered strong support as he finished with 13 points. Tavon Moore's six points included a pair of clutch free throws in the final seconds. For Ludden, John Rooney led the way with 17 points.
Three days earlier, the Cobras' season began at Solvay, and it was quite ready to play, as evidenced by the first quarter of a 75-55 victory over the Bearcats.
Before Solvay could settle down, Grimes had pushed them around on both ends of the floor, bolting out to a 23-6 lead. The rest of the game was played on fairly even terms, but the Cobras' comfortable margin remained.
Stone, despite lots of defensive attention, still poured in 29 points, including all three of his team's 3-point field goals. Ater had 10 points, while Casey Evans and Mike Sugamosto each had nine points. Moore picked up six points.
At 2-0 following the win over Ludden, the Cobras get another test Wednesday night, when it visits 2-0 Skaneateles before a Friday trip to Hannibal.