Back-to-back Vandalia baskets trimmed St. Anthony’s lead to just five heading into the final frame, and the Vandals completed their comeback when Leyton Godoyo hit pair of free throws after Schuette was called for a charge, tying the game at 53 with about 6 1⁄2 minutes remaining.
The lead see-sawed back and forth until Godoyo converted an acrobatic layup after coming up with a steal, putting Vandalia up for good, 58-57, with a little more than five minutes remaining.
Ritchey followed with a similarly difficult layup off another Bulldogs turnover at the 5-minute mark, and Vandalia answered a Goeckner bucket with back-to-back buckets by Chase Woolsey — set up beutifully by Godoyo and Ritchey passes, respectively — to open up a five-point lead with four minutes to go.
The Bulldogs refused to go quietly, but after coming up empty on three bunnies on a particuarly frustrating possession, Michael Wells seemed to knock the wind out of St. Anthony’s sails by stripping away a defensive rebound from the Bulldogs and going in for a layup that put Vandalia up 67-61 with 2:20 to go.
St. Anthony was just 2 of 7 from the floor in the final five minutes, with many of those shots being highly makeable.
“We missed a few easy ones — and I can’t fault the guys for missing, but we were dissapointed, because they were easy ones,” Tovey said.
The Vandals wound up hitting 10 of 16 shots from the field in their big fourth quarter, with five different players registering in the scoring column.
Vandalia also finished with just eight turnovers and managed to capitalize on St. Anthony’s 14 turnovers more often than not, as many came on steals and resulted in fast-break buckets.
There were plenty of positives to take away from the game for the Bulldogs, with Goeckner’s play being one of the biggest. The 6-foot-2 junior recorded another double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds.