East Syracuse The big changes found throughout Section III boys basketball going into the 2012-13 season were not limited to teams changing classes.
Bishop Grimes and East Syracuse-Minoa both had new coaches pacing in front of the bench during Thursday night's opener, where Jon Carnegie and Casey Evans led the Cobras past the Spartans 67-47.
With Jamie Evans stepping aside, Grimes turned to Kevin Haven as a successor. Haven is a familiar face in East Syracuse, having assisted Evans from 2001 to 2004. Most recently, he assisted Jerry Wilcox at Liverpool.
Meanwhile, ESM also had a coaching change, with Jim Kilpatrick succeeding Mark Carr. Kilpatrick's immediate challenge involved trying to solve a Grimes team that reached last March's sectional Class B final before falling to eventual state champion Bishop Ludden.
Since Ludden has moved up to Class A, the Cobras have a clearer title path, largely due to the senior inside/outside combination of Carnegie, a 6-foot-5 center, and Casey Evans, a 5-foot-10 guard with long-range shooting ability.
Grimes never trailed against ESM. It was Evans hitting back-to-back 3-pointers late in the first quarter, as he and Carnegie combined for 15 points and the Cobras grabbed a 21-10 lead.
But Carnegie saved his best stuff for the second period, where he scored 10 consecutive points, everything from a dunk to a 3-pointer, showing a wider range of skills than in seasons past.
By halftime, Carnegie had already matched his career high of 21 points. Still, ESM, who trailed by as much as 20, cut the margin to 39-27 by halftime with a 10-2 spurt capped by Dan MacDougall's putback just before the buzzer.
Even as Carnegie cooled off in the third quarter, though, ESM could not put together a sustained run, and the Cobras pulled clear. Evans hit three more 3-pointers, giving him 20 points for the night.
Carnegie, meanwhile, finished with 29 points, a new career mark and nearly twice the total of ESM's Sean Richardson, who led his side with 15 points. Jahmeer McDuffie had 10 points, while MacDougall picked up nine points.
ESM goes from here to four consecutive home games, starting next week against Homer and Central Square, while Grimes plays Solvay in its OHSL Liberty division opener Tuesday, two nights before visiting Hannibal.