Dec 14, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
At times it lacks style, and at times it lacks cohesion, but there’s no doubting the toughness and grit of the Bishop Grimes boys basketball team, at least in the early part of the 2013-14 season.
The Cobras moved to 5-0 on the season Wednesday night by rallying from a second-half deficit against visiting Skaneateles and making the necessary shots down the stretch to beat the Lakers 60-50.
This was Grimes’ last home game before its Dec. 20 showdown with defending Section III Class B champion Westhill, and it knew it could not gain full momentum for that clash unless it got by a Skaneateles side whose only defeat this season came to those same Warriors.
As it has done all season, the Cobras turned to Tom Steinberg for some early production. The senior forward notched six points in a 12-0 run that covered most of the first quarter and put Grimes in front, and fellow senior Joe Arrigo notched four points just before the horn that extended the lead to 20-10.
But when Steinberg, who had 10 first-half points, picked up his second foul early in the second quarter and went to the bench, the Lakers took full advantage – especially forward Chris Knupp, who had nine of his team-high 15 points. That helped Skaneateles erase the entire deficit and tie it, 32-32, going to halftime.
Even when Steinberg returned for the third quarter, the Lakers continued to pound away, grabbing a 42-38 lead. But then it slowed down, and despite Grimes also suffering through its fair share of sloppy play, it caught back up and went ahead for good, 47-45, on Steinberg’s basket with 6:14 left.
What won the game for the Cobras, though, was the way its defense closed the door on the Lakers. All Skaneateles could manage in the fourth quarter was a single field goal, a banked-in 3-pointer by Pete Knupp in the final minute.
For its part, Grimes did not light up the scoreboard down the stretch. Instead, after Steinberg’s runner with 2:19 left made it 52-46, it went a perfect eight-for-eight at the free-throw line the rest of the way. two each from Arrigo, Marial Koyroub, Akol Ater and A.C. Ater.
Steinberg finished with 18 points, a season low, but had far more help from his teammates. Akol Ater (16 points) and A.C. Ater (10 points) also hit double figures as Arrigo added eight points.
This gave Grimes a five-game win streak – but that streak ended Friday night, at Solvay, when the 0-2 Bearcats surprised the Cobras 56-50 in overtime.
Grimes led, 20-17, at halftime, but Solvay used a 15-9 push through the third quarter to move out in front. Though the Cobras rallied to tie it, 45-45, and force OT, Solvay regained control in the extra period and used a series of free throws to put it away.
Davis Kippen, with 17 points, led Solvay’s effort, with Cody Pucello close behind as he got 15 points. Tyler Cardinell added 11 points as, for Grimes, Steinberg (12 points), Arrigo (11 points) and Johnny Wike (10 points) hit double figures.
Before the boys returned to action, Bishop Grimes’ girls basketball team, with a 3-0 record, visited Skaneateles last Tuesday night, but took its first blemish of the season as a big third-quarter shooting display by the Lakers derailed the Cobras in a 56-43 defeat.
Grimes’ smaller lineup gave Skaneateles a chance to dominate inside and get all sorts of rebounds in the first half, contrasting the speed and quickness of the Cobras.
Yet neither side was able to get much going, as it went to halftime tied 19-19. At just the right moment, though, the Lakers’ dormant outside shooting would spring back to life.
Five different times, Skaneateles connected on 3-point shots, the supposed strength of Grimes, and it formed the heart of a 21-7 outburst that stretched into the fourth quarter.
And when the Cobras threatened to make it interesting, cutting the margin to eight in the final minutes, the Lakers, instead of waiting for fouls, took quick shots that found the net to put the game out of reach.
Grimes lost despite Tina Hoag (14 points), Katy McInerney (13 points) and Jordan Vaught (11 points) reaching double figures.
Nicole Beatson led the Lakers’ barrage, hitting on four 3-pointers to account for most of her 20 points. Joanna Dobrovosky had 12 points, twice connecting beyond the arc, while Shannon Foehl’s 10 points included a pair of 3-pointers.
A scheduling conflict pushed Grimes’ scheduled Thursday game against Solvay to Jan. 16.
So the Cobras would be off before key league games next week – Monday against Marcellus and, on Thursday, a trip to face reigning league champion Westhill – teams the Grimes boys would face, too, in the last week before the holiday break.