GLOVERSVILLE - Thanks to Mother Nature, the Gloversville Holiday Tournament ended on Groundhog Day rather than between Christmas and New Year's.
The tournament finished with a tight championship game between host Gloversville and Mekeel Christian Academy.
In a contest that saw neither team lead by more than eight points, the Lions held off the Dragons, 57-54.
Gloversville’s Chris Rockefeller (4) goes up for a shot as Mekeel Christian Academy’s Caleb Stewart (20) defends during the championship game of the Gloversville Holiday Tournament on Saturday at Gloversville High School. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)
"Nobody was able to really pull away. It was close the whole way," Mekeel Christian coach Chad Bowman said. "These kind of games help us get a feel for close games."
Courtney Penson, Herbie Sexton and Caleb Stewart all scored 12 points to lead the Lions.
Asa Barnhill scored 14 points to lead Gloversville, while Chris Rockefeller and Keyshawn Arnold each finished with 11 points.
"They're [Mekeel Christian] a good team," Gloversville coach Mark LeFever said. "They're a strong, physical team."
In the consolation game, Amsterdam posted a 69-51 win over Fonda-Fultonville.
The championship contest was much closer from start to finish, especially in the fourth quarter when Gloversville rallied from five points down to take a 52-51 lead with 1:57 to play after four straight points by Arnold and a basket by Rockefeller.
Sexton hit one of two free throws for the Lions with 1:39 play, tying the game at 52-52. A basket by Penson gave Mekeel Christian a 54-52 lead with 1:23 to play before the Dragons' Rockefeller knotted the game at 54-54.
The Lions regained the lead with 34 seconds to play when Ohenio Miller hit one of two free throws. With 29 seconds to play, Gloversville called a timeout to set up its final possession. After working the ball around, the Dragons turned the ball over to the Lions.
Gloversville quickly fouled Penson, who converted both free throws to make it 57-54 with 10 seconds to play. The Dragons mustered one final shot, but a 3-pointer by Arnold came up short at the buzzer.
"We put ourselves into a position to win the game," LeFever said. "We just didn't execute on our last couple of possessions."
While defense controlled the bulk of the action, offense was in control in the early going as Mekeel Christian outscored Gloversville 20-13 in the opening frame.
Stewart scored nine of his 12 points in the opening quarter for the Lions, while Spencer Bath scored all five of his points in the frame.
After a hot start, Stewart was limited to just three points the rest of the way, while Mekeel Christian was held to 37 points over the final three quarters after putting up 20 in the first eight minutes.
"There's going to be some teams that game plan to take Caleb [Stewart] away," Bowman said. "Our other guys did a good job of stepping up."
After trailing by seven points after one quarter, the Dragons bounced back to outscore the Lions 15-6 in the second quarter to grab a 28-26 lead at the half.
After the break, Mekeel Christian (14-2 overall) outscored the Dragons 14-9 in the third quarter thanks to several Gloversville turnovers to take a 40-37 lead into the final frame.
"We turned the ball over way too many times," LeFever said. "We have some things we need to improve on. There's no quit in these kids though."
The Dragons battled back in the fourth, but came up short.
"We had a bit of an off night on offense," Bowman said. "Our defense stepped up tonight and we made some stops when we needed to."
Gloversville (6-9 overall) will host Scotia-Glenville on Monday at 7:30 p.m.
"Our non-league schedule is tough," LeFever said. "We play some good teams. Hopefully, that will help get us ready for sectionals."
Amsterdam 69, Fonda-Fultonville 51
GLOVERSVILLE - Marcus Pritchard scored 12 points to lead Amsterdam to a win over Fonda-Fultonville in Saturday's consolation game.
The Rams led 32-29 at the half, but outscored the Braves 37-22 after the break to seal the win.
Zach Dufel finished with 12 points for the Rams, who had 11 different players score. Luis Laboy scored nine points for Amsterdam (4-11 overall), while Andrew Rouse and Alonzo Martin each scored eight points.
Will Turner scored a game-high 28 points to lead Fonda-Fultonville (6-9 overall), while Ryan Derby finished with 17 points.
Gloversville Holiday Tournament
Mekeel Christian 57, Gloversville 54
Mekeel Christian20 6 14 17 - 57
Gloversville13 15 9 17 - 54
Penson 3-4-12, Sexton 4-4-12, Senthill 3-3-9, Alteri 1-0-2, Stewart 4-1-12, Bath 2-0-5, Miller 2-2-5. Totals 19-13-57.
Brown 1-1-4, Barnhill 5-0-14, Rockefeller 3-4-11, Dukes 2-0-4, Johnston 3-0-8, Goodwin 1-0-2, Arnold 3-5-11. Totals 18-10-54.
3-point goals: Mekeel Christian 6 (Stewart 3, Penson 2, Bath); Gloversville 8 (Barnhill 4, Johnston 2, Brown, Rockefeller).
Amsterdam 69, Fonda-Fultonville 51
Fonda-Fultonville14 15 12 10 - 51
Amsterdam18 14 16 21 - 69
Sammons 1-0-2, Calkins 1-0-2, Madore 1-0-2, Derby 6-2-17, Turner 11-5-28. Totals 20-7-51.
Rouse 3-0-8, Druziak 2-2-7, Martin 3-1-8, Robershaw 1-0-3, Laboy 3-0-9, Hardies 0-2-2, Carr 1-0-2, Sherlock 2-0-4, Dufel 4-0-11, Springs 1-1-3, Prittchard 6-0-12. Totals 26-6-69.
3-point goals: Fonda-Fultonville 5 (Derby 4, Turner); Amsterdam 11 (Dufel 3, Laboy 3, Rouse 2, Druziak, Martin, Robershaw).