The first half alone featured 19 fouls. Given that complete lack of rhythm, Ludden found itself unable to press for more than a few possessions at a time, and that allowed Phoenix to hang around, whittling an eight-point second-quarter deficit down to five, 30-25, by the break.
That pressure finally took a toll, though. Early in the third quarter, the Gaelic Knights put together a 12-2 run, and its cause was aided when the Firebirds’ Kim Holbrook, who led her team with 13 points, fouled out before the period ended.
Ludden cruised from there, led by Granteed, who had 15 points and seven rebounds. Hayes chimed in with 12 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals, with Danielle Rauch contributing nine points, five assists and four steals. Gemma O’Kane had eight points and six rebounds.
Now with a 3-1 record, Ludden faces close league neighbors Solvay and Marcellus next week before playing at Onondaga Community College’s “More Than a Game” Tournament on Dec. 27-28.