Solvay and Bishop Grimes battle for playoff position in NewsChannel 9’s Game of the Week

Game of the Week

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The high school basketball season is winding down, but the pressure is just starting to heat up for the Solvay and Bishop Grimes girls basketball teams.

“We’re trying to go two and one this week, because if we are ten and ten we hopefully get a home game for the first sectional game, and that would be really important to us,” Solvay senior forward Haley Muehl said.

Bishop Grimes head coach John Cifonelli said, “We need to get some wins still to try to put ourselves in a little bit better position seeding wise for the postseason, that would certainly help us, but we want to get some momentum.”

Both the Bearcats and the Cobras have nine wins on the year, but they’ve won with very different styles. For the Bearcats, it’s all about their post play.

“We don’t run into a lot of teams that are bigger than us,” Solvay head coach Shawn Mitchell said. “We have some good size.”

Solvay is led in the post by junior Ryleigh Bidwell, who is averaging just under ten rebounds a game, and she could cause a lot of problems for the undersized Cobras on Wednesday.

“We’ve really struggled on the boards,” Cifonelli said. “I think during this last stretch where we’ve struggled a little bit on the scoreboard, we’ve struggled on the backboards. It’s an area that we’ve addressed a lot in practice, and we need to get better for sure.”

Bishop Grimes sophomore guard Jenna Sloan said, “We’re definitely going to need to box out every single person, and once we get it, just run on them.”

What Bishop Grimes lacks in height they make up for with their speed.

“Size is a little difficult, but we use our advantages in different ways, like we push the speed a lot,” Bishop Grimes senior guard Rhonee Shea Pal said. “It’s really all about our speed this year.”

Besides getting out in transition, Bishop Grimes loves the longball. However, Solvay prides themselves on defense, and will be ready for the sharp shooting Cobras.

“We are such a defensive team,” Muehl said. “Coach really focuses on us for our steals, our rebounding we definitely focus on.”

“We switched and added this year to a 3-2 [zone] for a little bit more perimeter protection against some of these three-point shooting teams that we play,” Mitchell said.

Cifonelli said, “We struggled shooting the ball against zone, so a big thing for us, it’s great that we’re going to see this. A big thing for us is going to be to find some different or better shots against the zone.”

The high school basketball season is coming to an end, but Wednesday’s matchup between Solvay and Bishop Grimes has a lot of implications as to where the teams will be seeded in the playoffs. 

Watch all the action between the Cobras and the Bearcats on starting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

For more local news, follow Anthony Scott on Twitter @A_Scott17

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