Julius Goddard didn’t start, didn’t even play in the first quarter. Didn’t matter. Amityville’s 6-4 junior forward finished off Sayville with a performance that made his coach smile knowingly.
Goddard scored 25 points, including a crucial three-pointer late in the fourth quarter, and added 10 rebounds as host Amityville held off sharpshooting Sayville, 81-73, Thursday night in a high-scoring Suffolk V game.
“I’m not really surprised. He’s an explosive player,” said Amityville’s first-year coach Gordon Thomas, who played for Lou Carnesecca at St. John’s in the late 1970s. “I always tell him that it’s not who starts, it’s who finishes. That’s’ what happened to me at St. John’s. I was a starter, then I came off the bench and knew if I played well I’d finish. No way was I talking Julius out.”
That proved to be a wise decision as Goddard scored 19 second-half points. Guard Josh Serrano added 24 points with six assists and forward Travis Angus had 13 points plus six rebounds and Braden Tannis had seven points and nine boards as Amityville capitalized on a huge rebounding edge to improve to 3-0. Sayville (2-2) was led by 6-5 Joey Harclerode, who scored 30 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and 5-8 Joey Mas, who scored 20 points.
In a game of scoring bursts, the Golden Flashes took a 38-29 lead early in the third quarter with a 9-0 run that began late in the first half. Amityville countered with seven straight points and the teams stayed within four of each other until Goddard and Serrano combined for six straight points and a 69-59 lead with 5:20 left.
But Harclerode converted a long three while being hacked, and completed a four-point play that sparked another Sayville rally. Mas’ bank shot after a smooth pump fake brought the Golden Flashes to within 73-71. But Goddard turned out the lights with his only trey with 2:40 left.
“I don’t mind not starting,” Goddard said. “I know when I come off the bench, I have to bring everything.”