Feb 13, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
For three periods last Tuesday night, the Bishop Grimes boys basketball team did everything it could to earn some payback against Bishop Ludden for the Jan. 6 defeat it took on its home court.
But then the fourth quarter started, and the Cobras’ magic disappeared amid hot Gaelic Knights shooting and a self-inflicted wound or two, leading to a 75-60 defeat.
In that first meeting, won by Ludden 63-53, Grimes did a solid job containing the Gaelic Knights’ star sophomores, Dan Kaigler and Ben Hackett, but watched guards Matt Rogers (17 points) and Cameron Littlejohn (14 points) hurt them with clutch shots.
Here, though, the younger Ludden stars were quite present, especially after Grimes forward Jon Carnegie went to the bench with three early fouls, not to play a big factor on this night.
Hackett had 11 first-half points and Kaigler contributed 10 points before he got his third foul, including a steal and dunk in the second quarter.
Despite this, Casey Evans willed his team back late in the half, scoring the last six points, including a steal and lay-up in the waning seconds, to push Grimes ahead 34-33 at the break.
The third quarter echoed the first half, as Hackett’s 12 points in the period pushed Ludden back in front and, again, Evans rallied the Cobras, working his total to 20 points. With one quarter left, Grimes held a 53-51 lead.
To this point, Littlejohn had not made a field goal, but he made up for it with back-to-back 3-pointers to push Ludden in front for good, igniting a 24-7 push through those last eight minutes.
Grimes only trailed by six, 59-53, when head coach Jamie Evans was issued a technical foul. Littlejohn made the ensuing free throws, and Grimes could never catch up again.
Casey Evans only managed a single free throw in the final period, so he finished with 21 points as Gai Ater added 15 points. Steve Lembo and Eisa Adam each had seven points. Hackett finished with 28 points as Kaigler got 17 points. Littlejohn and Rogers both finished with 11 points.
All this gave a bit more urgency to Grimes’ regular-season finale against Westhill on Friday, and it was a nervous affair all the way into overtime – but the Cobras fought past the Warriors 61-58.
Though far removed from its back-to-back runs to the state final four in 2010 and ’11, Westhill had a strong showing here, inching ahead early and trading baskets through the middle quarters, too. Jake Redmond, with five 3-pointers and 16 points overall, led the Warriors’ efforts.
As the final period started, Grimes trailed, 43-38, but led by Evans and Ater, it made key shots down the stretch to forge a 54-54 tie. In the four minutes of overtime, the Cobras’ defense took over, holding the Warriors to four points.
Overall, Evans had 20 points, 11 of them from free throws, while Ater finished with 17 points. No one else had more than five points.
Grimes emerged with the no. 3 seed for the Section III Class B playoffs, set to meet no. 14 seed Mount Markham in Tuesday’s opening round. A win would give the Cobras another home date Friday against Skaneateles or Holland Patent.