For the Bishop Grimes girls basketball team, the continued quest for an undefeated 2009-10 season almost got away again.
Saturday's game against Nazareth Academy (Rochester) provided a lot of thrills and scares -- but in the end, the Cobras got past it, winning by a score of 53-51.
The two sides started the game with wildly different styles, yet both proved effective. Cady Kalemba and Amelia Heiselman combined for four 3-pointers in the first quarter, only to see Nazareth counter with drives past the Grimes defense to the basket that led to points and a 14-14 tie at period's end.
That strong pace continued in the second period, and Nazareth inched in front, 29-26, helped in no small part by a defense that forced the Cobras into turnovers. And though it played far better in the third period, Grimes still trailed, 35-34, with one period left.
But led by Amanda Marcely, who had nine of her 13 points in the second half, plus more big outside shots from Heiselman and Kalemba, the Cobras bolted to a 47-41 lead with three minutes left and were ready to put it away.
Nazareth refused to quit, though, eating away at the margin in the late going despite Grimes' proficiency (seven-for-nine down the stretch) at the free-throw line.
Kalemba's foul shot with 7.3 seconds left put Grimes back up by two, and its pressure on the ball forced Nazareth into a wild shot at the end that was off target.
All told, Kalemba had 16 points and Heiselman 13 points, most of it from seven total 3-pointers. Nazareth had a well-balanced attack, too, with Harley Cleary earning 14 points as Janine Swanson and Julia Crilly each had 13 points.
In stark contrast, he Bishop Grimes boys team had no trouble at all ripping Hannibal 72-38 Saturday night at the Coaches vs. Cancer Challenge at Onondaga Community College, improving to 13-1 on the season.