In different venues, and in different manners, each of the Bishop Grimes basketball teams offered strong opening statements for the 2011-12 campaign.
With most of its lineup back to avenge last year’s 4-14 struggles, the girls Cobras got a supreme effort in all phases of the game Friday night during a 67-16 romp over visiting Tully.
As that went on, the Grimes boys team, who went 13-7 last winter but saw its two best players graduate, visited Clinton and, with Casey Evans and Jon Carnegie leading the way, ripped past the Warriors 68-48.
Bishop Grimes girls head coach John Cifonelli had to take tremendous encouragement out of the way his players dismantled Tully.
Right from the start, the Cobras’ defensive pressure forced the Black Knights into a litany of mistakes. Tully had just two points in the first quarter and never really recovered, Grimes applying the knockout with a 26-point second-quarter eruption to lead 35-8 at the break.
And it kept going from there, as senior Amelia Heiselman provided the spark. All by herself, Heiselman outscored Tully, her 24 points entirely a product of eight of her trademark 3-point shots.
Each of the eight Cobras players that saw action got at least two points. Aside from Heiselman, Alex Guhin was the main threat, earning 13 points, while Erannan Shattuck contributed eight points and Tina Hoag had seven points.
Far away from East Syracuse, the Bishop Grimes boys team began life after the departures of Mike Stone and Mike Sugamosto, players that combined for more than 2,500 career points in their time with the Cobras.
However, in Casey Evans and Jon Carnegie, Grimes just might have another inside-outside duo that’s just as effective, as Clinton found out.
The Cobras outscored the Warriors in every single period, leading 36-24 by halftime. As it pulled further way, Grimes saw Evans drain five 3-pointers on his way to 23 points for the night, the junior adding four steals and four assists.
Meanwhile, Carnegie, with his wiry 6-5 frame, used a series of nifty post moves to record 15 points and added 14 rebounds. Gai Ater, with eight points, and Steve Lembo, with seven points, supplied the offensive help.
Following a week of further practice, Grimes opens OHSL Liberty division play at Marcellus Friday before taking on reigning state Class D champion New York Mills Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Peppino’s Invitational at Henninger High School. The girls Cobras host Marcellus on Friday night.