Feb 04, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Head coach Jamie Evans had a simple description of his Bishop Grimes boys basketball team’s 64-51 victory over Bishop Ludden Friday night in East Syracuse.
“That was our first big win of the season,” said Evans. “We needed it.”
Indeed, the Cobras had been waiting all season to earn a quality win over any of the other three main OHSL Liberty division contenders – Ludden, Westhill and first-place Skaneateles. All of Grimes’ losses had come to them in close decisions, including a 56-54 defeat to the Gaelic Knights back on Dec. 22 in Geddes.
For the rematch, the Cobras were back home, which didn’t work for them right away. Not only did it fall behind Ludden 16-9, but in pursuit of a loose ball, two starters, Mike Sugamosto and Casey Evans, dove and hit their heads together, making them temporarily woozy.
Within minutes, though, Sugamosto and Evans were back as Grimes turned things around for good with a subtle defensive adjustment. Burned by Ludden’s early success in the transition game, Jamie Evans switched to matchup zone, which clogged up the middle and prevented Ludden’s forwards from having space to maneuver.
Not only did this force the Gaelic Knights outside for shots that flew off target, it also gave the Cobras plenty of chances to grab boards. Both Sugamosto and Mike Stone finished with eight rebounds as sophomore Jon Carnegie contributed seven rebounds.
Of course, Stone is much better known for his offensive prowess, and this night was no exception. Whether it was aggressive drives to the basket or pull-up 3-point shots that found the net, Stone didn’t let up until he had 18 points in the first half.
And when Stone wasn’t converting, Sugamosto was dominating in the paint, shaking off his early collision with Casey Evans to register 10 points as, after that rough start, Grimes took a 30-23 lead to halftime.
Still, the Cobras didn’t pull away until the third quarter, when the rest of the team started to pull its weight on the offensive side. Evans, on his way to 10 points, hit a pair of key 3-pointers, while Carnegie, Gai Ater and Connor Sohl also converted. The Cobras led by as much as 19 (53-34) before Ludden made a late and futile push.
Though not as hot as in the first half, Stone still did enough in the second half to finish with 28 points, above his average of 24.2 per game. On Ludden’s side, freshman Dan Kaigler led the way with 20 points, 16 of them after the break, but didn’t get much help from his teammates.
All this leads to a busy homestretch for Grimes- six games in 12 days, starting with league contests against Solvay, Jordan-Elbridge and Cazenovia and concluding with a tough troika of opponents in CBA, Westhill and Skaneateles.