Rogers, Bishop Ludden take down Bishop Grimes 63-53

— On a roster dotted with oodles of young talent, it was a cagey veteran that led Bishop Ludden past Bishop Grimes 63-53 this past Friday night on Grimes’ home floor in East Syracuse.

Matt Rogers scored 17 points in the first of two showdowns between the rival squads, which were undefeated in the OHSL Liberty National Division heading into the game. The Gaelic Knights, who faced Skaneateles Tuesday after press time, improved to 6-0 in the division and 6-2 overall with Friday’s win. Their next game will be Tuesday, Jan. 17, on the road against Jordan-Elbridge at 7 p.m.

The Cobras fell to 6-3 overall and 4-1 in the division on Friday. Losers of three straight, Grimes looked to get back on track Tuesday against Solvay after the Eagle-Observer went to press. The Cobras travel to Westhill Friday, Jan. 13, at 7 p.m. for another blockbuster divisional tussle.

“Matt was the difference for us in the second half,” said Ludden head coach Pat Donnelly. “We made a nice little run in the third, and Matt was a big part of it. He answered them each time they scored.

“We have great sophomores in Dan Kaigler and Ben Hackett, and Cameron Littlejohn, a junior, and freshman Zach Walser have been big-time contributors, but Matt really carried us.”

The Gaelic Knights led 28-24 at the half. Fueled by Rogers, they stretched the lead to 45-36 after three quarters. The Cobras, who were led by senior Steve Lembo (16 points) and junior Casey Evans (13 points), put up 17 points in the fourth quarter. However, Littlejohn and Kaigler (14 points apiece) helped Rogers keep Grimes at bay.

“I think we game-planned well; there were just some holes in our execution,” said Cobras head coach Jamie Evans. “We had some opportunities to close the gaps, if we had been able to finish better on some plays. You have to give Ludden credit, though. Each time we stopped one of their guys, another would answer.”

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