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For 31 minutes Lincoln-Way East’s Mike Moss didn’t score.
But the senior guard came up huge with all seven of his points in the final minute of regulation and overtime - including what proved to be the game-winning basket, as the Griffins rallied for a 52-49 OT victory over Lockport in a SouthWest Suburban Blue matchup Friday night in Lockport.
Senior guard Eric Spudic added a game-high 19 points, including many key ones as well, as East improved to 8-7 and 2-4. The Porters lost for the 10th time in 12 games and fell to 5-13 and 3-3.
“I just have to accept my role as a defensive player and pressure the ball,” Moss said. “In the overtime it was just pressure the ball and execute.”
Lockport was clinging to a one-point lead when Moss stole the ball, was fouled and hit two free throws with 59.4 seconds to play in regulation. Those were his first points of the game and gave the Griffins a 41-40 advantage, their first lead since midway through the first quarter.
Moss added a pair of free throws at the 11.2 second mark to put East head by three. But Lockport’s Mantas Tamasauskis (team-high 15 points) swished a three-pointer from the right wing just before the buzzer to tie the game at 43-43.
The Porters scored the initial point in the extra period, but that would be their last lead. Moss nailed a three-pointer from the left wing with 1:07 left to give the Griffins the lead for good at 49-46.
“I knew it was going in,” said Moss of his three-pointer. “I was open and it was a good shot to put our team on the right path.”
Spudic, who hit a three-pointer with 1:16 remaining in regulation to bring East within 40-39 and hit anthor shot from downtown in the opening minute of the OT, made 3-of-4 free throws in the final 34.4 seconds of overtime.
Lockport hit a free throw at the 12 second mark to close within 52-49. The Porters had a chance to tie, but Ryan Reed’s 25-foot shot was just long with a second remaining. Reed and John Campbell (9 rebounds) each scored 12 points for the Porters, who led 24-21 at halftime.
“He [East coach Rich Kolimas] did a nice job mixing and matching his kids,” Lockport coach Lawrence Thompson, Jr. said. “Then Spudic picked his spots and made the shots.”
David Paulsen added 11 points and Chris DeRubertis scored nine for East. They combined for nine points in the fourth period as the Griffins rallied from a 36-25 deficit with 7:25 to play.
“We just kept playing hard,” Spudic said. “It was a good win and we really needed it, especially since it was a conference game.”