Mar 09, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
The Bishop Grimes girls basketball team had no intention of stopping with just its first Section III title of any kind in 11 years.
All the Cobras did Saturday was go to Utica Memorial Auditorium on Saturday and mainly relied on stellar defense and a deep bench to beat Little Falls 42-32 and claim the overall Class C title.
Little Falls won the C-1 title by avenging last year’s loss to Cooperstown in a 46-34 decision, and had enough size and skill to cause the Cobras some worry.
Neither side gained much of an advantage in a low-scoring first half. Unlike Mohawk, Little Falls was determined to prevent Grimes from another outside shooting barrage. And it did so, as the Cobras had just two 3-pointers all afternoon.
Clinging to a 13-12 lead at the break, Grimes head coach John Cifonelli said his team needed to take care of the ball and stay patient.
“It was just a matter of us settling down and using the dribble more effectively,” Cifonelli said.
Prevented from working outside, the Cobras went to the paint early in the third quarter — and it worked. Marcely, on her way to tournament MVP honors, hit on seven of her 13 points to keep Grimes in front.
But the real blow came when Grimes, picking up the tempo on the Mounties, closed the third period on a 10-1 run. What’s more, all those points came from reserves Emma Kelley, Cassidy Weeks and Ali Kelley, something Little Falls could not match despite 12 points from Sue Schoff and nine points from Jenna Becker.
“Our bench has given us something every night this season,” Cifonelli said. “At any time, we can put five kids on the court that can handle the ball.”
Grimes proved last week that it has many different ways to win. That will be needed Saturday when the Cobras play Section IV champion Greene (22-1) in the Class C regional final at SUNY-Cortland. Game time is 4:45. The winner advances to the state final four in Troy next weekend.