East Syracuse Any path for the Bishop Grimes girls basketball team toward the top of the OHSL Liberty division runs through Westhill.
The Cobras, on its home court, got the opportunity to take down the Warriors on its home court Friday night, but the shots did not fall, early and late, and Westhill prevailed by a score of 39-26.
With two strong defensive units on hand, it was little surprise that points would get precious. And Grimes did what it had to do, using its constant man-to-man pressure to upset the timing of Westhill's star trio of Anna Ross, Maggie Tripodi and Sam Peebles.
Having done a great job on one end, the Cobras also moved the ball with maximum efficiency when it was on offense, getting a long series of wide-open 3-point attempts throughout the first half.
Time after time, though, those shots clanged off the rim, when any one of them might have sparked a run. Not until Jordan Vaught converted midway through the second quarter did a 3-pointer fall, when Grimes trailed 16-4.
Fired up by that long-awaited conversion, and helped by Peebles going to the bench with three fouls late in the half, the Cobras only trailed 18-11 at the break, keeping within one sustained run of catching up to Westhill.
Through its own poor play, Westhill stayed patient. And that patience was rewarded early in the third quarter when, after Grimes cut it to 18-16 on Jordan Vaught's 3-pointer, the Warriors put together a well-time scoring outburst.
In the span of less than a minute, Ross drove in for a lay-up, Peebles converted on a basket and, to cap it off, Tripodi drained a 3-pointer. It was all part of a 9-0 run that got the Warriors' lead back to double digits, 27-16.
Even though the Cobras would cut the margin to 27-20 late in the third period, the Warriors, by tightening up its own man-to-man pressure, kept Grimes from the open looks it got earlier in the game, and steadily pulled clear in the fourth quarter.