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.