Feb 28, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Simply put, Mike Sugamosto would not let the Bishop Grimes boys basketball season end in the Section III Class B semifinal round.
More than anything else, it was Sugamosto’s heroics, throughout the game and especially in two overtime periods, that allowed the no. 2 seed Cobras to survive no. 3 seed Skaneateles 70-66 in an epic semifinal game Saturday at Onondaga Community College.
By the time it was done, Sugamosto had a triple-double of 23 points, 17 rebounds and 10 blocks, but it was when he got those numbers that explained Grimes’ survival on this day.
Skaneateles led, 60-57, as time was winding down in the first overtime period, and Grimes knew that the Lakers would do everything within its power to make sure that sharp-shooting Mike Stone did not get a good look, or even get the ball.
That move backfired when Sugamosto flashed open and, with nine seconds left, fired from beyond the 3-point line — and made it, forging a 60-60 tie and sending it to a second extra period.
In those four minutes of the second OT, Sugamosto took full advantage that two of Skaneatles’ top forwards, Pat Roberts and Paul O’Donnell, had fouled out. Roberts had left with 18 points, O’Donnell with 14 points.
Of the Cobras’ first eight points in double OT, six were from Sugamosto, just enough so that, when Stone hit two free throws with two seconds left, the Cobras were on its way to the finals.
A victory by Grimes over Skaneateles wasn’t, on the surface, a big surprise, since the Cobras beat the Lakers twice in the regular season.
However, since Grimes point guard Tavon Moore was not in the lineup this time around, the Lakers had every reason to think this third meeting would be different. And a 17-8 start further helped that cause, in that it completely reversed the fast starts the Cobras got in the first two meetings.
Grimes had seen the deficit grow to 33-23 by halftime — but led by Stone, Sugamosto and Kucjok Ater, the Cobras caught up in the third quarter, applying greater pressure and converting baskets to forge a 43-43 tie.
And they would stay even through the fourth quarter and one OT, as Stone worked his way to 22 points and Ater added 12 points. Defensively, freshman Casey Evans stood out, never letting the Lakers’ star guard, Kevin Rice (13 points), get too many open looks. Evans and Evan Pitonzo (back from his trip abroad) had five points apiece, too.
Two days later, Grimes watched as top seed Westhill dispatched of Holland Patent, 69-45, in the other semifinal at Chittenango.
So on Sunday at 3:45, the Cobras and Warriors will settle the Class B championship at Utica Memorial Auditorium. Westhill, of course, won both regular-season meetings, the only losses Grimes have taken this season.