In roaring to a 3-0 start, the Bishop Grimes girls basketball team never had to confront a serious crisis on the court.
All that changed in Tuesday night's game at Weedsport.
The inspired Warriors stoutly defended its home court, leading the Cobras by eight at halftime. It took a fierce and determined effort from Grimes' quintet of seniors, especially Amanda Marcely, to turn things around and produce a 64-49 victory.
That ultimate margin in no way reflected the troubles of the early going. Weedsport forced the Cobras into a series of first-half turnovers, and its aggressive play on both ends caused foul trouble for some of Grimes' starters, especially point guard Amelia Heiselman.
Thus, an early 16-12 lead for the Cobras vanished in the second quarter as the Warriors more than doubled Grimes' output, 23-11, and seized a 35-27 lead going into the break.
At this point, head coach John Cifonelli gambled a bit, putting all five of his seniors -- Marcely, Cady Kalemba, Cassidy Weeks, Ali Kelley and Emma Kelley -- into the lineup to start the second half.
Together, this quintet restored the Cobras' imposing presence on the defensive side, and they held Weedsport to a scant five points in the third quarter while scoring 18 and moving in front for good. Their best work came on Warrior star Kaitlin Hammersley, who had 17 points, but struggled after the break.
To preserve the lead, Grimes turned to Marcely, whose variety of inside moves baffled the Warriors and led to 23 points, 18 of them coming in the second half. Weeks offered the support, adding 13 points, and Heiselman returned to earn seven of her 10 points at the free-throw line. Kalemba earned nine points, while Emma Kelley got seven points.
Grimes now turns its attention to games against first-year varsity program Syracuse Institute of Technology and LaFayette, with the Cobras heavily favored to be 6-0 going into its Dec. 29-30 holiday tournament.