Finding a crunch-time player who wanted to step up and take over a game in clutch situations has eluded the Maple Leafs boys’ basketball team this season.

Finding a crunch-time player who wanted to step up and take over a game in clutch situations has eluded the Maple Leafs boys’ basketball team this season.

On Feb. 3, the Maple Leafs found not one, not two, but three different players who made big plays in key situations to earn a 41-39 road victory over Yorkville in overtime.

The Leafs’ Jacob Pauley hit six seconds remaining to give Geneseo the lead in overtime.

“Earlier in the year, players were waiting to see what would happen and halfheartedly making plays and hoping they would turn out right,” Geneseo Coach Brad Storm said. “We had several guys with the attitude of, ‘Let’s get this done,’ and make something happen. I think that mentality was more evident than what we have seen.”

Geneseo’s defense made it a game winner when they held Yorkville without a shot on their final possession.

With Geneseo (9-8, 3-6 NIB12) getting into foul trouble, it was a hard comeback trail for the Leafs to navigate in a physical contest where Geneseo was whistled 23 times.

The Leafs trailed 26-24 to start the fourth quarter, but the Leafs’ Isaiah Rivera wouldn’t be denied.

Rivera scored eight points in the final period to keep Geneseo in striking distance of the Foxes.

With less than 10 seconds left, Geneseo needed a 3-pointer to tie the game and Yorkville’s defense was focused on taking him out of the play.

The extra attention paid to Rivera allowed Keaton Rice to break free and drain a 3-pointer to tie the game at 35 and force overtime.

“I think all the guys were ready to take the shot,” Storm said. “(Rice) happened to be in the spot that was designed for the shot to be taken. Our guys did a good job of reading that they were taking away an option. Instead of standing and watching they stepped up and made a play.”

Rivera continued to produce in overtime making 3-of-4 from the free-throw line.

A freshman, Rivera scored a team-high 14 points, and Pauley finished with 13 points.

Rice tallied eight points, and Matthew Ganson finished with four points.

The Leafs’ Anthony Bravata chipped in two points.

Geneseo looks to continue to build on the momentum of the win when they host Rochelle on Friday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m.

“The only thing we can do is keep working on it in practice and try to set up situations where they have to keep competing,” Storm said. “Hopefully, it trains their body to the point where that’s the only way they know how to play.”