Years of success on the court has led to a promotion for the Bishop Grimes girls basketball team - even if the timing of it may prove poor.
Head coach John Cifonelli's Cobras dominated the OHSL Patriot division the last two years, and it led to a 2009 Section III Class C championship as well as an undefeated regular season in 2009-10 before it lost to eventual champion Utica-Notre Dame in the sectional semifinals.
As soon as that was done, Grimes learned that it was moving up - both to Class B and to the highly competitive OHSL Liberty division, home to the likes of Westhill, Solvay, Marcellus, Bishop Ludden and Cazenovia.
Grimes would move up in 2010-11 having to replace most of its key players from its recent run. That included All-State selection Amanda Marcely, plus Cady Kalemba, Ali Kelley, Emma Kelley and Cassidy Weeks.
Another All-State selection, junior guard Amelia Heiselman, is back, as is veterans like Erannan Shattuck, Michelle Godlewski and Ashley Morgan.
The Cobras had to wait for its first game of the season after Tuesday's opener against Marcellus snowed out. But when the snow stopped and Hannibal visited East Syracuse two nights later, Grimes was ready - and it jumped all over the Warriors on its way to a 63-46 victory.
In a stunning first quarter, Grimes, who had not practiced all week, stunned Hannibal as four different players combined to hit seven 3-pointers, three of them from Heiselman in the opening minutes to set the tone. All of it translated into a 29-8 lead.
Though the Cobras could not possibly keep that pace up, it still led 39-22 at halftime, then doubled up Hannibal 14-7 in the third quarter to prevent any comeback.
Four Grimes players finished in double figures, led by Shattuck, whose 13 points set a new career mark. In an impressive varsity debut, eighth-grader Jordan Vaught announced her arrival with 11 points and seven assists, while Heiselman and reserve Alex Guhin earned 10 points apiece. Hannibal saw Devin Sorell score 15 points and Allie Taylor add 13 points.