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Grimes girls beaten in sectional semifinals

Through 19 games, no one had been able to top the Bishop Grimes girls basketball team, though a couple of opponents had come close.

One of them was Utica-Notre Dame, who had put a scare into the Cobras on Dec. 29 in the first round of Grimes' annual holiday tournament.

Grimes escaped that night, winning 49-47, but the Jugglers left feeling good, too, for it knew that, as a Class C team, it might have another shot at the Cobras once the Section III playoffs rolled around.

Sure enough, the reunion took place in Saturday's Class C semifinals at Chittenango High School -- and it didn't turn out well for the Cobras, whose perfect season -- and championship run -- ended as UND beat them 46-36.

This rematch started like the first one ended -- very close. Neither side had a lead of more than three points the entire first half, with Grimes teammates Amelia Heiselman and Emma Kelley carrying the offense much of the way.

The Cobras only trailed by one, 24-23, at the break, but the third quarter turned into a disaster. Forced into confusion by UND's full-court pressure, the normally poised Cobras made a series of mistakes, and the Jugglers pounced.

All Grimes could manage was two points in that third period, and it now trailed 36-25. The Cobras had come back before, though, and when it pulled within six in the fourth quarter, another magical moment in this magical season appeared possible.

But the magic ran out. Grimes only made one of six free throws in the homestretch, while the Jugglers converted its foul shots to clinch a trip to the Class C finals to face Thousand Islands.

Amanda Marcely still had one more double-double, with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Heiselman got 10 points and Kelley had seven points.

On UND's side, eighth-grader Emily Durr again set the pace, leading both sides with 15 points, while Jordan Morgan threw in 12 points.

The Cobras' 19-1 mark might be difficult to duplicate in 2010-11, given that Marcely, Emma Kelley, Ali Kelley, Cady Kalemba and Cassidy Weeks depart from a unit that went 58-8 during their tenure, winning a sectional title in 2009.

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