Jan 07, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
A familiar face – senior Nicole Granteed – and a newer face – eighth-grader Danielle Rauch – combined to give the Bishop Ludden girls basketball team a defining moment.
Granteed’s 22 points and Rauch’s 20 points led the Gaelic Knights past undefeated neighbor and rival Westhill 59-52 in Monday night’s OHSL Liberty American division showdown.
“It’s a good win for these girls,” said Ludden head coach Jerry Roesch. “To come out on top here is big.”
A 7-1 start, including wins over the likes of Skaneateles and Indian River, had legitimized Ludden’s status as a league and Section III Class B title contender. But the Warriors, with its 5-0 mark, still loomed as an obstacle the Gaelic Knights had not cleared in recent times.
But from the moment it opened the game on a 6-0 run with baskets from Rauch, Granteed and Gemma O’Kane in the first two minutes, forcing Westhill head coach Sue Ludwig to use a time-out, Ludden would dictate the game’s pace.
Throughout the first half, Granteed, the senior forward, showed the way. Despite picking up two early fouls, she kept getting open inside, and Ludden kept going to her, leading to 14 points in those first two periods as the Gaelic Knights stretched its lead to double digits.
“She (Nicole) is our horse, and we just kept going to her,” said Roesch.
Rauch was making an impression, too, thanks to her quick hands on the defensive side and her dribbling ability once she got near the basket. She had eight points in the first half, including a steal and lay-up that stretched Ludden’s advantage to 29-16 late in the second quarter.
But when Granteed went to the bench to protect her from further foul trouble, Westhill pounced, cutting Ludden’s lead to 31-24 by halftime and then erasing the rest of that margin in the third quarter, led again by the senior tandem of Sam Peebles and Anna Ross.
All told, it was a 20-5 run that briefly put the Warriors in front, 36-34. But Roesch said that his team stayed calm because it had faced close games before, and could handle it again.
Sure enough, less than a minute after Westhill took the lead, the Gaelic Knights got it back for good, and it would spend the fourth quarter nursing that margin and, at times, adding to it.
Rauch led the way, draining a big 3-pointer as the shot clock ran out to make it 44-38, and then getting a steal and lay-up a minute later to stretch the margin to eight, 47-39. Roesch that Rauch is a “natural player” and, as such, is given close to free rein to create opportunities.
A brief Westhill spurt, capped by a Peebles 3-pointer, cut the lead to 47-44, but Granteed answered with two free throws and another inside basket. That, plus O’Kane’s putback, made it 53-44, and the Warriors never got closer than five points again.
Aside from her 22 points, Granteed also picked up eight rebounds, the same total as O’Kane, who finished with six points. Rauch augmented her 20 points with seven steals and four assists.
Peebles (18 points), Ross (17 points) and Emily Washburn (10 points) all hit double figures for the Warriors. There was some late concern as Ross injured her leg late in the fourth quarter, but she did return for the closing seconds.
And everyone, on both sides, looked forward to the rematch between Ludden and Westhill, to take place Feb. 6 on the Warriors’ home court, which just happens to be the last regular-season home game for both Peebles and Ross.