East Syracuse With the post-season looming, the Bishop Grimes girls basketball team needed a high-quality win. How it accomplished that feat made it more impressive.
The Cobras, no. 20 in the latest state Class B rankings, scored the game's final seven points and beat state no. 12-ranked Bishop Ludden 53-47 Monday night in East Syracuse.
"Any time we can beat Bishop Ludden, it means a lot," said head coach John Cifonelli.
It was Senior Night, the last regular-season home game for the trio of Amelia Heiselman, Erannan Shattuck and Lauren Vaughan. Once the pre-game ceremonies were done, those seniors, Heiselman in particular, went after Ludden, looking to avenge a 59-55 loss to the Gaelic Knights on Jan. 12.
That first meeting saw Ludden's senior guard, Kayla Kibling, pour in 20 points, including a pivotal 3-pointer in the homestretch after returning to the game from suffering a broken nose late in the third quarter.
This time around, Kibling didn't get hurt. Instead, Heiselman shut her down, using her speed to tail Kibling all over the court. Heislelman also used her 5-8 frame to block the lane and prevent Kibling from getting the ball, much less taking shots. Kibling only made one field goal all night.
Despite this, Ludden would hang right with Grimes all night. In fact, the Gaelic Knights led for much of the first half, though never by a margin larger than five points. The Cobras caught up and, thanks to Megan Driscoll's 3-pointer just before the break, took a 25-22 lead.
Grimes saw the margin get as big as six, 34-28, in the third quarter before the Gaelic Knights rallied, seizing a 38-37 lead by the end of the period, mostly due to Lauren Roy, who had nine of her 17 points in that frame.
For the Cobras' part, it was freshman Jordan Vaught that provided the most offensive consistency. Her speed and dribbling skills led to constant drives to the basket and, by game's end, a team-best 16 points.