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Hourigan returns, J-E smashes Bishop Grimes

Everyone rooting for the Jordan-Elbridge girls basketball team can exhale now.

Molly Hourigan, the standout junior center injured in the Eagles' first loss of the season Jan. 13 against Henninger, reclaimed her usual spot in the paint Monday night - and J-E quickly started winning again as it shut down Bishop Grimes in a 52-23 romp.

After Hourigan went to the sidelines, the Eagles split two games, ripping Hannibal 66-41 on Jan. 19 but squandering a fourth-quarter lead in a 41-39 loss at Skaneateles two nights later. Those results both showcased what J-E could do short-handed - but also exposed what could go wrong, too.

None of that mattered now that Hourigan, always a threat to go into double figures in points, rebounds and blocks, was on the court again. Inspired, especially on the defensive side, J-E went out and quieted Bishop Grimes, who was seeking its third straight win.

In a first-quarter surge, the Eagles moved ahead 16-3, hitting on all kinds of shots as the Cobras, fearing Hourigan's inside presence, settled for jumpers that didn't find the net. The rout continued all the way to halftime, when J-E sported a 31-7 lead, making the rest of the night a formality.

Hourigan, with 13 points, shared offensive credit with Kali Davis, who poured in 14 points, and Erin McLaughlin, who continued to assume a larger role in the attack as she got 12 points. Grace Dungey added six points.

J-E improved to 9-2 on the season with the win, and will stay at home Friday night to meet Solvay.

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