SYRACUSE Even though the Bishop Grimes girls basketball team did a lot of things wrong in the tense, chaotic homestretch of Thursday night's game at Bishop Ludden, it still emerged with its biggest victory of the season.
The Cobras used spirit, toughness and tenacity to overcome those multiple errors and claw past the Gaelic Knights 46-44, improving its record to 7-3 in the process.
What made the win more important was what had taken place on Monday night. Ludden, 8-1 and no. 21 in the state Class B rankings, knocked off unbeaten, state no. 3-ranked Westhill 59-52, getting superb performances from Nicole Granteed (22 points) and Danielle Rauch (20 points) along the way.
Just three nights later, Grimes arrived in the Gaelic Knights' gym, perhaps hoping that the Gaelic Knights would have a letdown after putting so much energy and emotion into beating Westhill.
Early on, that certainly proved true, as Ludden needed more than four minutes to earn a field goal. Grimes, still without injured guard Tina Hoag, had its own issues, but with back-to-back 3-pointers from Katrina Fandrich and Jordan Vaught, the Cobras grabbed a 17-9 lead early in the second quarter.
Ludden countered with a 10-0 run, but Grimes absorbed it and, by the third quarter, had reclaimed a 29-22 lead. Making things worse for the Gaelic Knights, Rauch, the team's talented eighth-grade guard, picked up her fourth foul and went to the bench.
Despite this, Ludden battled back again, relying on its defense to frustrate Grimes and hold them without a field goal for more than four minutes in the fourth quarter. That was enough time for the lead to slip away as, with a banked-in 3-pointer from Rauch and a free throw from Granteed, the Gaelic Knights moved ahead 39-38.
Now they traded big plays - Katy McInerney hitting a 3-pointer for Grimes for a 41-39 lead, Granteed converting a three-point play seconds later to put her side back up 42-41, and Marissa Hartley answering with her own three-point play with 1:27 left. This left it 44-42 in the Cobras' favor.