Feb 22, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
All of the battles fought within the OHSL Liberty division steeled the Bishop Grimes girls basketball team for what it would face once the Section III Class B playoffs got underway.
And now the no. 6 seed Cobras are two wins away from the title, having gone to Holland Patent and held off the no. 3 seed Golden Knights 55-53 in Thursday night’s Class B quarterfinal.
A lot had taken place in the six days since Grimes beat General Brown 60-48 in the opening round on Feb. 15. First, the Cobras saw its trip to HP delayed twice by bad weather.
During that delay, Grimes watched as Westhill, the no. 2 seed, got ousted by no. 7 seed Utica-Notre Dame 60-40, opening up the bottom half of the sectional tournament bracket for the Cobras, if it could solve the Golden Knights’ strong, interior-based attack led by Allison Friermuth and Korey Bunal.
That didn’t prove tough in the early going. Grimes held Friermuth, averaging 20 points per game this season, without a basket in the first quarter, and the Cobras made shots to counter HP’s zone defense and bolt to a 14-7 lead by the end of the period.
Grimes remained steady the rest of the half, turning defensive pressure into baskets on the other end, even as the Golden Knights started to score on a regular basis. As a result, the Cobras had a 28-19 lead at the break.
Early in the second half, Grimes’ lead got to double digits, but HP didn’t surrender, instead starting to make its own string of outside shots late in the period to pull within three, 38-35, seizing the momentum going to the fourth quarter.
Staying poised, Grimes turned to Jordan Vaught, its hottest player in recent weeks, who sank key baskets in the stretch, as did Maria Gronau, restoring some of the Cobras’ margin.
HP kept going inside, and with Bunal working her total to 17 points and Alyssa Curtis adding 15 points, the Golden Knights had a chance to snatch it away at the end if Grimes missed free throws.
But the Cobras didn’t miss, Vaught sinking five of seven at the line in the last two minutes as she worked her total to 15 points and helped send Grimes to the next round.
Alex Guhin put in nine points and Megan Driscoll added seven points. Each of the nine Grimes players that saw action scored at least one field goal.
And this leads the Cobras to Onondaga Community College’s SRC Arena (where it beat Bishop Ludden on Jan. 26) for Saturday night’s Class B semifinal against Utica-Notre Dame, Grimes facing the major task of trying to contain one of the state’s best players, Emily Durr, who scored 23 points in her team’s quarterfinal win at Westhill.
The prize for Grimes or UND is, of course, a ticket to the Carrier Dome for next Thursday’s Class B championship game against South Jefferson or Cazenovia, who play in the other semifinal Saturday right after the Cobras and Jugglers are done.