EAST AURORA – Basketball pendants will often explain why one player can’t win a game in a team sport, but every rule has an exception and in this case exceptional is just one word that describes how Mason Goodridge almost singlehandedly dismantled East Aurora last week with a 69-66 come-from-behind overtime win Jan. 31.
Yes the all-state guard did get some key support when he needed it, but the Blue Devils knew who was getting the ball and they could do nothing about it.
As the horn sounded to end the third, the Griffs were down double digits and while the teams were at the benches Anthony Lasker went perfect at the free throw line to make it a 47-40 game with one quarter to play.
Austin Boies needed about 15 seconds to hit one of his four threes of the game and suddenly the Griffs were only down by four. Four successive East Aurora free throws would give the Blue Devils a nice seven-point cushion, but a Goodridge layup through traffic cut that to five and Lasker converted two buckets in a 25-second span to make it a one-point game at 50-49.
There was no scoring for the next three-and-a-half minutes until a bucket and free throw by East Aurora made it 53-49 with about 2:30 to go. Austin Lux hit his biggest basket of the season with 30 seconds left with a three to make it a 53-52 game.
With East Aurora content to let the clock run out, the Griffs were forced to foul and surrender a free throw with under 10 seconds to play and trailing by two.
Lux took a pass at center court and sped down the right side and found Pruitt on the baseline, but he was fouled. Goodridge grabbed his missed foul shot attempt and deposited the rebound to tie the game at 54 as the horn sounded and sent it to overtime.
Goodridge got a pair of free throws early in the overtime and gave Springville its first lead since early in the game at 56-55. After East Aurora took back the lead with a bucket and free throw at 58-56, Pruitt was fouled and the play also led to a technical foul against East Aurora.
After Pruitt and Goodridge completed their charity strip shots for the original foul and the technical foul, the Griffs had a 60-58 lead. Bois sank his fourth three and suddenly Springville had some breathing room at 63-58. The lead would get as high as six with a Bois free throw, but East Aurora clawed back and with 19 seconds left in overtime the Blue devils converted a steal into 64-63 game and trailed by one.
A pair of Goodridge free throws would make it a three-point Griff lead at 66-63, but the Blue Devils sank a three to tie the game at 66 with 11 seconds to go. Goodridge took the ball almost the length of the court and deposited a layup with two seconds left for a 68-66 lead and ended the game’s scoring on the ensuing free throw from being fouled on the winning basket.
After Goodridge’s game-high 26 points, Boies added 15 with Lasker scoring 11. Pruitt added 10 with three coming from Lux, and two each from Alex Fransisco and Tyler Atteberry.
The win was Springville’s second in conference play in Erie County Interscholastic Conference III.