By completely reversing what had happened a month earlier, the Bishop Grimes boys basketball team caught Hannibal and earned a share of the OHSL Liberty division regular-season championship.
The Cobras had to win three times on its home court last week to get that honor, but the big show came Friday night, when Grimes took apart the two-time defending Section III Class B champions in a 70-50 victory.
When they had met the first time, on Jan. 14 in Oswego County, Hannibal had blasted Grimes 73-53. The Cobras had not lost since, seven consecutive wins to insure that the rematch with the Warriors carried as much regular-season meaning as possible.
Grimes and Hannibal played through a 20-20 first quarter, the Warriors leaning on point guard Tyler Baker, who would lead his side with 24 points.
But in the second period, the Cobras went out in front, taking a 37-30 lead to the break, and maintained the margin through an evenly played third quarter.
Try as it could, Hannibal could not catch up, and Grimes stayed cool at the foul line down the stretch, hitting eight of 10 free throws to create a winning margin exactly equal to the deficit of the first meeting.
Again, Mike Stone had a star turn, the sophomore picking up 25 points. Behind him, Zach Vaught and Joe Basla each had eight points, with Basla adding seven rebounds and four steals. Steve Dillmore backed up his six points with a team-best 11 rebounds.
Yet even with that win, Grimes still had to beat Cazenovia Saturday to get that piece of the league title with Hannibal, Westhill and Marcellus.
Not suffering any kind of letdown, the Cobras beat the Lakers 71-49, dominating the first half with its defense as it roared out to a 36-17 lead and never getting caught.
In all, 12 different players scored. Stone, with 15 points, led this charge, as fellow sophomore Sugamosto earned 12 points. Ater worked his way to 11 points, with Vaught adding eight points.
Grimes, at 16-4 with a nine-game win streak, found out Sunday that it had the no. 3 seed in the Section III Class B-1 playoffs. The Cobras will face no. 6 seed Holland Patent Friday night in the B-1 quarterfinals, with the winner to get Marcellus or Homer in next weekend's semifinals.