The third quarter, as it turned out, proved decisive, as a diverse Cobras attack hurt HP and the margin grew to 56-39, which allowed Grimes to withstand a late Golden Knights push.
What was most encouraging was that Mike Stone, though he finished with 21 points, did not have to carry a bulk of the offensive load. Mike Sugamosto worked inside for 19 points, while Casey Evans hit three 3-pointers to account for most of his 13 points and Gai Ater returned to prominence with 12 points. Ryan Mogensen led HP, matching Stone with 21 points of his own.
On Friday night, Grimes goes to Geddes for a highly-anticipated Class B quarterfinal against no. 4 seed Bishop Ludden, who ousted Ilion 62-38 in the first round. The two OHSL Liberty division rivals split their two regular-season games, each side winning at home, and now play for a spot in the semifinals against Skaneateles or Lowville.
Meanwhile, in the Class A quarterfinals ESM ventures south to meet no. 1 seed Cortland (17-1), a team the Spartans lost to twice in the regular season within the OHSL Freedom division.