GLOVERSVILLE - Johnstown's Ryan Auty drove hard to the rim and laid the ball in for the opening basket of Tuesday's Foothills Council game between intercity rivals Gloversville and Johnstown.
The basket marked the Sir Bills' lone lead of the game and one of the few bright spots as cold shooting and a staunch Gloversville defense proved to be too much as Gloversville cruised to a 45-20 league win.
"We did not run good offensive sets. We were just trying to find the first open jump shot instead of working the ball," Johnstown coach Scott Hale said. "Our shot selection was poor ... it was poor throughout the game. We shot 6 for 60. You can sit here and say we shot 6-for-60 and say that is why we lost the game. It wasn't. We took bad shots. But you also have to credit their defense tonight; it forced us into taking those really bad shots."
Gloversville’s Barceem Dukes (11) puts back an offensive rebound in first-quarter action of a Foothills Council boys basketball game against Johnstown Tuesday night at Gloversville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
After Auty's game-opening basket, Gloversville went on an 11-1 run with the majority of the points coming off strong inside games from Hunter Goodwin and Barceem Dukes that led to one-shot efforts from the Sir Bills on defense and kept the ball alive on the offensive board.
The Dragons continued to pull away in the second period, putting up seven unanswered points before Mike Everest hit a free-throw with 4:15 left in the opening half to break the Sir Bills' scoring drought and put the score at 18-4.
Gloversville continued to roll with Zech Brown capping off the Dragons' second-period scoring with a 3-pointer, while Jon Heroth connected for the Sir Bills' lone field goal of the period with 1:28 remaining to put the score at 25-6 at the break.
"We were mixing our combinations on the floor tonight," Gloversville coach Mark LeFever said. "At one point in the first half, I think we had four reserves and a starter on the floor. The guys have been working hard and they compete in practice and this was an opportunity to get some looks out there. They all stepped up and contributed."
The second half opened on a positive note for Johnstown as Jerry Groom connected on a 3-pointer.
However, Gloversville answered with an 8-0 run before Heroth hit a free throw to put the score at 33-10.
Johnstown outscored Gloversville 5-2 in the closing minutes with Heroth adding a basket and Ricky Mitchell hitting a 3-pointer in response to a drive to the hoop by Barnhill to put the score at 35-15 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Dragons continued their steady performance in the final eight minutes. Barnhill closed out a 14-point scoring effort with a 3-pointer early in the period, while the Sir Bills' fourth-quarter scoring came from a pair of Mitchell free throws and a 3-pointer by Elijah Hill in the closing seconds to put the final score at 45-20.
"I am pleased with tonight's performance," LeFever said. "I thought we defended really well. All week and every week we preach defense and at times we have difficulties putting the ball in the basket, but tonight we got contributions from a lot of players."
Barnhill led the Dragons with 14 points and six rebounds, while Goodwin pulled down 11 rebounds to go with seven points and a steal.
Kevin Johnston contributed seven rebounds, while Corin Smith added two steals, three rebounds and five points and Brown finished with five points and five rebounds.
Mitchell led Johnstown with five points and seven rebounds, while Auty had two points and five rebounds and Heroth added four rebounds and five points.
"We are a young team but defensively I thought we did a decent job, which is something we need to do when not scoring a lot of points," Hale said. "Regardless of how bad we shot a lot of credit goes to Gloversville for running good defenses. It is our responsibility to find the good shot."
The Sir Bills (1-4 overall, 0-3 Foothills) will look for their second win of the season Friday night when they host Hudson Falls (1-5 overall, 0-3 Foothills).
The Dragons (2-2 overall, 2-1 Foothills) will look for their third-straight home victory Friday night when they host Queensbury (2-2 overall, 1-2 Foothills).
Gloversville 45, Johnstown 20
Johnstown3 3 9 5 - 20
Gloversville11 14 10 10 - 45
Mitchell 1-3-6, Auty 1-0-2, Hill 1-0-3, Heroth 2-1-5, Groom 1-0-3, Everest 0-1-1. Totals: 6-5-20.
Brown 2-0-5, Barnhill 5-3-14, Rockefeller 1-0-2, Dukes 2-0-4, S. Arnold 1-0-2, Smith 2-1-5, Johnston 1-0-2, Goodwin 3-1-7, K. Arnold 2-0-4. Totals: 19-5-45.
3-point goals: Johnstown 3 (Mitchell, Hill, Groom); Gloversville (Brown, Barnhill).