FULTON — Seth Grimshaw scorched the nets for 35 points as the Fulton varsity boys basketball team beat Jordan-Elbridge 68-58 Saturday in the championship game of the Fulton Savings Bank Tournament.
“It was a hard-fought game,” Fulton coach Sean Broderick said. “I’m really proud of our guys.”
Twenty-one of Grimshaw’s points came in the second half. The senior was clutch in the fourth quarter, going 10-of-10 from the free-throw line.
“Seth continues to not let his team lose a game like this. He’s a leader,” Broderick said. “He demands his team competes at the level he does.”
Anthony Bennett and Jack Broderick each chipped in nine points for Fulton (5-3). Cyrus Trude added six points.
For the Eagles (5-3), Dakota Holbrook led with 14 points. Alexander Pond had 11 points, and Owen Barrigar contributed 10.
The Raiders had a 34-22 lead at halftime. The Eagles drew to within 34-26 early in the third quarter, but Grimshaw knocked down a 3-pointer to bump the score to 37-26. J-E’s Pond made back-to-back buckets to slice the deficit to 37-30.
Bennett tallied a 3-pointer to increase the Raiders’ advantage to 40-32, but a pair of Pond layups made it 40-36.
Grimshaw carried Fulton near the end of the third quarter with six points as the hosts surged to a 48-40 advantage. At the end of the third quarter, Fulton’s lead was 50-43.
Barrigar started the fourth quarter by stealing the ball from Fulton and finishing with a layup on a fast break. A few minutes later, led by three free throws and a hard-fought basket by Grimshaw, the Raiders padded their lead to 55-45.
The Eagles cut it down to 57-49 with less than four minutes left, but Fulton used its hot hand from the charity stripe to keep J-E at bay.
The Raiders had a total of 14 free throws in the fourth quarter. The team finished 19-of-22 from the line for the game.
“Jordan-Elbridge wouldn’t go away. They kept attacking us,” Broderick said. “It led to us getting into the double bonus and Seth hit eight or so straight free throws to help the team out.”
Broderick said most of Fulton’s wins this season “haven’t come easy,” and it was no different against a “talented J-E team.”
“In four of our five wins this season, we’ve really had to execute in the fourth quarter to win it,” he said. “They’ve proven they can do it.”
Broderick gave credit to J-E for staying with Fulton.
“Jordan-Elbridge is very well-coached. They just competed,” he said. “They were down double digits in the first half, and then it’s quickly single digits. They kept playing.”
The Raiders were clinging to a 7-6 lead with 2:36 to go in the first quarter when Grimshaw sank a 3-pointer to increase the score to 10-6.
Later a floater by Jack Broderick put the Raiders up 17-9 at the end of the first.
In the second quarter, Fulton piled it on with 3-pointers for a commanding 26-11 advantage. With a few minutes to go in the second, the Raiders had a quick 5-0 spurt that was ignited by a three from Trude. Fulton took a 31-16 lead following the run.
The Raiders tallied nine 3-pointers as a team, seven in the first half. Grimshaw racked up five of the threes.
“We knew because of their size they were going to play zone and it would be hard for us to score around the basket,” Broderick said. “We had our big screens and hit open threes.”
Fulton will look to carry its momentum from the tournament into Tuesday as it hosts Central Square at 6:30 p.m.
“We’re undersized and a little undermanned, but this team has such a will to compete,” Broderick said.