With its eight-game win streak snapped by Westhill on Feb. 1, the Bishop Grimes girls basketball team badly wanted to restore the level of confidence that created the win streak in the first place.
The key to it all was Saturday’s game against Bishop Ludden, against whom it would complete a regular-season sweep on Saturday afternoon, pleasing a large home crowd in East Syracuse as it toppled the Gaelic Knights 56-41 to finish the regular season with a solid 14-4 mark.
Back on Jan. 9, Grimes had gone to Ludden and prevailed 48-44, and that was without Tina Hoag in the lineup. She was back now, playing her most extensive minutes since the December ankle injury, and made quite an impact.
Hoag and backcourt mate Jordan Vaught, had 13 combined points as Grimes went in front of Ludden 18-12, overcoming Danielle Rauch’s eight points in the first quarter.
For much of the second quarter, it looked like Ludden would take control, inching into a one-point lead, 25-24, before Katy McInerney’s basket put the Cobras back in front 26-25 going to halftime.
Two things happened in the second half to help Grimes get away. On the defensive side, the Gaelic Knights could not get any inside penetration and were forced into jump shots, and that silenced the forward duo of Nicole Granteed and Gemma O’Kane, who had just one field goal apiece.
At the same time, Ludden’s defense could not keep Hoag and Vaught from hurting them, as each of them finished with 15 points to overcome Rauch’s game-high 21 points, with McInerney adding eight points. Shattuck and Megan Costello had five points apiece.
Another girls team in search of some strong late-season efforts, Fayetteville-Manlius, would have back-to-back games, starting on Thursday night against visiting Baldwinsville, where on Senior Night the Hornets flourished and recorded a 69-54 victory over the Bees.