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Ludden edges Grimes in first-place showdown

Enter Tyler Young and Matt Rogers. First, Young hit on back-to-back possessions, pushing Ludden in front 39-36. Then Rogers chimed in with his own pair of baskets just before the period ended, and suddenly the Gaelic Knights were up 43-36.

Grimes never left the picture, closing within 43-42 early in the fourth quarter before Beaudoin stepped up, draining five straight points to restore his team's margin. With Stone and fellow senior Mike Sugamosto (just five points) shut down and Ludden defending well all over the court, it carried a 53-45 lead to the closing 90 seconds - where it almost fell apart.

Kaigler and Young missed six consecutive free throws, and Casey Evans' banked-in 3-pointer with 15 seconds left made it 54-51. Finally, Beaudoin stepped to the line and made the clinching foul shots, and though Ater got a 3-pointer in the waning seconds, Ludden would hang on.

Now the Gaelic Knights prepare to host the annual Rosemary Corcoran Holiday Classic. In the first round Monday night, Ludden plays Onondaga after West Genesee takes on Liverpool, with the consolation and championship games on Tuesday night.

Then Bishop Grimes returns to action next Wednesday in the Cicero-North Syracuse Holiday Tournament, playing the host Northstars (defending Section III Class AA champions) in the first round, then Fayetteville-Manilus or Ithaca.

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