Feb 01, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Another day, and another Bishop Grimes basketball 3-point right at the end of regulation that denied a victory to Marcellus.
This time, it was Tom Steinberg and the boys Cobras providing the late-game magic, and though it required two overtimes, rather than one, the boys replicated their female counterparts and pulled it out at home on Friday night, winning by a score of 78-74.
That it took so long wasn’t too much of a surprise, since neither team had a lead larger than six points the entire game. That it was Steinberg making the difference made perfect sense, though, since he had missed the Cobras’ first meeting with Marcellus, a 63-56 loss on Dec. 17.
In the rematch, Marcellus held a 57-54 lead with 14.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter as Jordan Bandera and Mike Dillon had made four consecutive free throws to erase Grimes’ modest 54-53 lead, typical of the game’s back-and-forth nature.
On the ensuing possession, Grimes looked for an open shot of any type, but found little against the Mustangs’ tight man-to-man coverage. Finally, Steinberg, from the left point, leaned in for a 3-pointer with a defender in his face – and sank it, tying the game 57-57.
It was eerily similar to what had taken place the night before in the girls game between Grimes and Marcellus. There, too, the Cobars needed a 3-pointer at the end of regulation (from Teresa Shattuck) to force overtime, where it eventually won by a 75-69 margin.
One OT period would not be enough here, though. Steinberg’s free throws late in the first extra period tied it again, 64-64, and when Joe Arrigo got a steal and was fouled with 6.5 seconds left, he had two free throws to put Grimes ahead, but missed them both.
Now it went to a second OT, and Arrigo more than made up for his earlier miss by draining a 3-pointer with 1:03 left to create yet another tie at 71-71. After Mike Hastings missed a jumper, Steinberg, again from the left side, sank a jumper with 18 seconds left, putting the Cobras ahead for good.
Then, after A.C. Ater and Johnny Wike combined to make three of four foul shots, Steinberg, fouled with 1.5 seconds left, made both free throws to clinch it, giving him 27 points for the night.
On this senior night, another player making his last regular-season home appearance, Akol Ater, had a big night. Ater’s 22 points kept Marcellus from focusing all of its defensive attention on Steinberg, while Arrigo picked up 13 points and Wike had all six of his points in that second OT.
For the Mustangs, Hastings and Bandera both were sensational, picking up 27 points apiece and carrying the Marcellus offense throughout the second half and OT periods, responding every time Grimes threatened to take control. Mike Dillon and Cole Walsh had seven points apiece.
And now Grimes (8-7), who officially wrapped up a Section III Class B playoff berth with that win, has to go face unbeaten, state Class B no. 1-ranked Westhill on Tuesday as the starting point of a three-game road swing that would visit Syracuse Academy of Science and Phoenix before the regular season concluded.