Dec 27, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Both of the Bishop Grimes basketball teams were riding hot streaks and staying unbeaten as holiday tournament season got underway.
In maybe its biggest test of December, the Cobras went to Marcellus last Wednesday night and delivered a 60-46 victory over the Mustangs by taking full advantage of what the situation given to them.
To start with, Marcellus did not have senior point guard Will Nolan in the lineup. Nolan was still recovering from a wrist injury suffered in his team’s Dec. 18 win over Cazenovia, and it was serious enough for the Mustangs not to risk further damage at this point in the season.
Eventually, the Cobras would take advantage of this, inching ahead in the second quarter and taking a 30-24 lead to the break.
Trying to change things up, Marcellus came out in a box-and-one defense in the second half, the intention being to keep Mike Stone, who had nine points at the time, from taking over.
It backfired. Junior center Mike Sugamosto took over in the unoccupied paint, getting most of his 16 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks after the break. Grimes scored the first six points of the half, built the margin to 36-24, and never let Marcellus get closer than seven points again.
Even with all the defensive attention, Stone had 11 second-half points to finish with 20 on the night, and point guard Tavon Moore added 10 points. Evan Pitonzo (eight points) and Kucjok Ater (six points) performed well, too.
By contrast, only one Marcellus player, Will Fiacchi (13 points), hit double figures as the Cobras’ constant man-to-man pressure wore down a Mustang attack lacking its best ball-handler in Nolan.
Prior to facing Marcellus, the Cobras won a pair of one-sided decisions. Grimes met Jordan-Elbridge in a non-league game on Dec. 18 and completely smothered the Eagles in an 86-46 romp.
This one was quite early. A first-quarter blitz saw the Cobras roar out to a 32-9 lead, and the margin grew to 76-29 by the end of the third period.
Stone led the way again, earning 21 points, while Moore and Ater had 13 points apiece. Evan Pitonzo had eight points, with Casey Olszewski (seven points) and freshman Casey Evans (six points) also productive.
Back in league action last Monday night, at Cazenovia, the Cobras had little trouble in a 73-45 win over the Lakers, despite an odd interruption in the middle of the proceedings.
Grimes started the game on a 10-0 run. With the starters on the bench, the Lakers made a brief push, cutting it to 20-11, but the Cobras reeled off the first 15 points of the second quarter with its starting five back on the floor.
Then, midway through that second quarter, the fire alarm sounded inside Buckley Gym. This forced everyone — players, officials, spectators — out into the 25-degree night for approximately 15 minutes while firefighters and police officers checked the building.
Once it was determined that things were safe (there was no fire), the game resumed about 40 minutes later, and Grimes maintained full control the rest of the way.
Stone had 19 points, 17 of them in the first half, while Sugamosto got 17 points. Ater, with 13 points, also broke into double figures as Moore earned eight points. On Cazenovia’s side, Chad Dorrance had 13 points and Zack Golden gained 12 points.
On Tuesday, Grimes took on Class C power Tully in the first round of the Chittenango Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, with the winner to get host Chittenango or Canastota in the finals Wednesday night. They will play 16-minute halves, rather than eight-minute quarters.