Oneida By its high standards, the Bishop Grimes boys basketball team did not make Kevin Haven’s first season at the helm a particularly great one – but it already might be on the way to making the 2013-14 campaign a bit more memorable.
The Cobras, who lost in the 2012 Section III Class B final to eventual state champion Bishop Ludden, only got to the quarterfinal round a season ago before falling to South Jefferson.
Before the calendar even hit December this time, though, Grimes found itself with a 2-0 mark as a result of its victory in the NBT Bank Tournament at Oneida High School.
The Cobras met the host Oneida Indians in Friday night’s opening round, and it turned into a showcase for Tom Steinberg, as his big fourth-quarter push helped Grimes prevail 46-35.
Both sides were cold at the start, Grimes requiring A.C. Ater’s 3-pointer to move in front 7-4. It picked up a bit in the second period, where again an Ater 3-pointer mattered as the Cobras made it 17-12 going into halftime.
Only in the third quarter did the Indians come to life, more than doubling its output and tying the game at one point, 26-26, before the Cobras closed the period on a 7-2 run.
Again, Oneida tied it, 33-33, early in the fourth quarter, but Steinberg asserted himself from there, getting six straight points to move Grimes ahead for good, and then tacking on two more baskets. Of his 22 points, 10 of them came in the final period as Akol Ater added 11 points.
Grimes met traditional Class A power Cortland in Saturday’s final after the Purple Tigers beat Vernon-Verona-Sherrill 69-52 in the other part of the opening round. Production picked up, and Steinberg again proved the major force for the Cobras in a 56-44 victory.