BROADALBIN - It took the Broadalbin-Perth Patriots nearly 2 quarters to build an 11-point lead over the Queensbury Spartans.
It took less than four minutes for the Spartans to make it disappear as they rode a third-quarter surge and went on to beat the Patriots, 50-43, in Thursday night's Foothills Council boys basketball game.
"Once you get a lead and you worked hard to get a lead in the first half, you have to keep that lead," Broadalbin-Perth coach Tucker Gifford said. "That's exactly what I told them. We didn't do the things necessary in the second half to keep that lead. That's the best advice I can give them and we need to get the lead and keep the lead, and we didn't do that."
Broadalbin-Perth’s Ben Bellandi drives to the basket over Queensbury’s Andrew Homkey during Thursday’s Foothills Council boys basketball game at Broadalbin-Perth High School. (The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo)
The Patriots built a 27-20 lead at the end of the first half and built on it quickly to start the third quarter as Chris Natoli stretched the Patriots' lead to 11 points, 33-22, with 4:46 left in the third quarter.
That's when the Spartans woke up, thanks to Charles Peltz and his 20 second-half points. He finished with a game-high 24 points.
Peltz answered with two foul shots, converted a three-point play, and then drove the lane for a basket, cutting the Patriots' lead to four points, 33-29, with 3:22 to go in the quarter.
Then, with 2:23 remaining in the game - after Broadalbin-Perth's Andre Taylor broke Queensbury's run with a foul shot - Peltz had the biggest basket of the game, knocking down a long 3-pointer as the shot clock ticked to zero.
The basket cut the Patriots' lead to two points and gave the Spartans (5-7 overall, 5-4 Foothills Council) a jolt.
"You need some good fortune in this game," Queensbury coach Doug Fraser said. "There's no doubt about it. It's such a game of runs that we needed a moment like that; we've been struggling. It's refreshing to see one of those go in."
After a Patriots' turnover, Troy Kelly, who finished with 13 points, gave the Spartans the lead with a 3-pointer of his own.
Fraser credited a change in defense with getting his team back in the game.
"I felt like our half-court was beneficial on our behalf because of their quickness," he said. "We weren't getting anything out of our press. We just concentrated on the half-court defense. We just buckled in and stopped their penetration better in the second half."
Taylor, who finished the game with 10 points for the Patriots (5-7 overall, 3-6 Foothills Council), gave them a 1-point lead, 36-35 at the end of the third quarter.
It was the last time the Patriots led in the game as Peltz erased it with a foul shot to open the fourth quarter and he hit two more and Troy Kelly hit two free throws, giving Queensbury a 40-36 lead.
"It's a tale of two halves," Fraser said. "They outplayed us in the first half and we outplayed them in the second half. We were fortunate to make some plays down the stretch, get to the free-throw line. I think that was probably the difference in the game."
Fouls piled up on the Patriots quickly in the second half and the Spartans were taking bonus free throws before the end of the fourth quarter. The fouls hurt the Patriots as 24 of Queensbury's 50 points came from the charity stripe.
"Honestly, we can't continue to foul," Gifford said. "We put them on the line 38 times. If you look at the stats of our foul shots and their foul shots without watching the game, you can pretty much guess who won the game. You cannot put a team on the foul line 38 times and there's no one to blame for that but yourself."
Taylor and Luigi Magliocca fouled out, and Bellandi, who led the Patriots with 14 points, played most of the fourth quarter with four fouls, leaving Gifford with few options on the bench.
"They're scoring points on the line and on the other side, you're scrambling because everyone's in foul trouble," Gifford said. "When I looked at the bench, and I have three guys with three, one with four and another just fouled out, every rotation you can think of is completely screwed up."
Queensbury 50, Broadalbin-Perth 43
Queensbury10 10 15 15 50
Broadalbin-Perth10 17 9 7 43
Peltz 5-12-24, Kelly 3-5-13, Homkey 2-2-6, O'Leary 1-3-5, Moses 0-2-2. Totals: 11-24-50.
Magliocca 1-0-2, Bellandi 4-5-14, Natoli 4-0-8, A. Taylor 4-2-10, Van Brocklin 1-0-3, Sylvia 1-2-4, Bochenek 1-0-2. Totals: 16-9-43.
3-point goals: Queensbury 4 (Peltz 2, Kelly 2); Broadalbin-Perth 2 (Bellandi, VanBrocklin).