Jan 20, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Both of Bishop Grimes’ basketball teams took a trip to Onondaga Community College’s Allyn Hall on Sunday to participate in the Pathfinder Bank Zebra Classic in a doubleheader against Cazenovia – but only one of them emerged with a victory.
Overcoming all kinds of struggles, the girls Cobras leaned on its defense to rally late and prevail 32-28, while the boys returned star forward Tom Steinberg to the lineup, but still went cold in the second half of a 63-53 defeat to the Lakers.
As it has done all season, the Grimes girls team, who improved its record to 10-3, found a way to win even when it was far from top form.
All game long, Cazenovia, who had just a 4-6 mark for the season, displayed a tremendous defensive effort, never letting Grimes get comfortable. But Cazenovia’s own attack had its issues, too, and a pair of brief first-half leads quickly melted away.
Up 14-12 after a low-scoring first half, Grimes could not get away and, early in the fourth quarter, the Lakers threatened to take control.
Maggie Johnson earned a three-point play, Lizzy Bigsby converted a jumper and Johnson returned for a basket with 6:04 left that put the Lakers in front 28-22. But those would be Cazenovia’s last points of the game.
Julia Freeman’s basket launched Grimes’ late comeback, which included back-to-back 3-pointers from Teresa Shattuck and Megan Costello that gave the Cobras a 30-28 lead. Both sides had plenty of chances down the stretch, but it was Jordan Vaught’s jumper with 19.9 seconds left that doubled Grimes’ lead to four, and it proved enough.
Vaught finished with 11 points and was the game’s Most Outstanding player, with Costello adding eight points and Johnson leading Cazenovia, also getting 11 points.
For the Grimes boys team, nursing a 6-5 record, bringing back Steinberg, who had missed a month of action due to an ankle injury, was well-timed, given the opposition.
Cazenovia had a 9-2 mark and was coming off a last-second, 58-55 defeat to unbeaten, state Class B no. 2-ranked Westhill, a game that, even though it snapped a seven-game win streak, solidified the Lakers’ status as a Class B title contender.
At least in the early going, though, Steinberg had little trouble finding scoring chances. Working hard inside, Steinberg had 14 first-half points, which was needed to keep his team close. Cazenovia led from the outset, as all five starters got at least two points in the first quarter.
Trailing 17-15 going to the second period, the Cobras watched the Lakers light it up from outside, connecting on five 3-pointers in that frame, and leave Grimes trailing, 39-31, going into halftime.
When the game slowed down in the third quarter and Grimes tried to catch up, the Lakers turned to its defense, who held the Cobras without a field goal for more than nine minutes.
Then, after A.C. Ater made a 3-pointer to break that field-goal drought with 4:50 left to cut the margin to 50-46, the Lakers again clamped down, keeping the Cobras from a field goal until the waning seconds as it used a series of free throws to seal it.
Steinberg was limited to a single free throw in the second half, so he finished with 15 points, just behind Joe Arrigo, who led with 16 points, while Ater had 11 points and was the game MVP. Ross Gerber, with 15 points, and Ryman Seeley, with 14 points, paced the Lakers.
Long before going to OCC, the boys Cobras, still without Steinberg, went to Jordan-Elbridge and climbed back above the .500 mark, beating the Eagles 69-55.
The key to that game was a 21-11 second-quarter run, which put Grimes in front 39-25 at the break. From there, the Cobras withstood all of J-E’s runs, overcoming 22 points from Zach Wagner.
Akol Ater stepped up, earning 17 points. Arrigo, with 11 points, and Austin Dirienzo, with 10 points, also hit double figures, while Matt Bitz had eight points and Joe Hakisimana added six points.
As for the Grimes girls side, it continued to build its solid resume with last Monday’s 68-35 romp over Jordan-Elbridge.
After a so-so start, the Cobras took control with a 20-9 surge through the second quarter. A big lead meant that the bench could be fully utilized and, by game’s end, all 11 players that saw action got at least two points, with 10 of them earning field goals.
Vaught led with 14 points, with Shattuck picking up 10 points. Freeman (eight points) and Costello (seven points) were close behind as Madison Douglas added six points. Alexis Rouse led J-E with nine points.
Then the Cobras went home Thursday and beat Solvay 62-47, leading from the start as it outscored the Bearcats 21-9 in the first quarter and didn’t let up until it had built a 46-25 margin at one point in the third period.
Katy McInerney stepped up with 15 points, while Costello improved to 12 points. Shattuck had another 10-point outing as Vaught earned eight points and Maria Gronau managed seven points.