GLOVERSVILLE - Playing their final regular season home game of the season, the Gloversville Dragons set their sights on upsetting league-leading and undefeated Scotia-Glenville.
The Dragons caught a break when it was announced senior Andrew Tabbert (18 ppg) was out of the Tartans lineup for the game.
The Tartans could not shake up-set minded Gloversville through three periods of play, but they were able to wear down the Dragons to pull away in the final period to clinch a share of the Foothills Council title with a 70-49 victory Monday at Gloversville High School.
Gloversville’s Corin Smith (15) battles for a rebound during Monday’s Foothills Council game against Scotia-Glenville at Gloversville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
"We had to make some quick adjustments," Scotia-Glenville coach Jim Giammattei said. "When you find out you don't have that player [Andrew Tabbert] until right before the game, it's tough. It is not like you get a chance to practice and prepare for it. I am just real proud of the way they came through without our regular point guard."
Facing its second state-ranked team in three days - Mekeel Christian Academy is ranked 18th in Class B and Scotia-Glenville seventh in Class A - Gloversville grabbed an early 6-3 lead on back-to-back 3-pointers from Zech Brown and Kevin Johnston. The Tartans fought back to tie the game at 11 before Joe Cremo connected for five points in the closing minute of the period to put Scotia up 16-11.
Scotia carried the momentum over into the second period, hitting five unanswered points early to open a 21-11 advantage.
With strong inside play from Barceem Dukes, the Dragons again closed on the Tartans, knocking the 10-point lead down to two, 23-21 with 3:39 left in the half.
Scotia again looked to Cremo and he responded with a basket and a free throw to go with Alex Sausville's 3-pointer to take the lead to six, 29-23.
The closing minute of the opening half proved costly for the Dragons. After a series of disputed calls, Gloversville coach Mark LeFever received a technical foul.
In a 22-second span, the Tartans knocked down 5-of-6 free throws, and retained possession of the ball to build their lead to 36-25. Dukes hit a free-throw in the final second of the half for Gloversville, which trailed 36-26 at the break.
Dom LeMorta put the Tartans up 39-26 with his 3-pointer in the opening minute of the second half.
However, Asa Barnhill, who was held to two points in the first half, connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to quickly trim the lead to 39-32 and force Giammattei to call a timeout.
The Dragons cut the lead to five, 39-34, when Barnhill finished off a pass from Johnston. The Dragons kept the pressure on the Tartans and closed to a single point, 43-42, with Johnston's 3-pointer with 3:31 left in the third period.
Cremo again came through for the Tartans hitting a pair of unanswered baskets to put the game at 47-42 in favor of Scotia heading into the final frame.
The Tartans built the lead back to double-digits, 53-43, until Barnhill hit his third 3-pointer of the second half to bring the score back to 53-46.
The Tartans then went on a game-changing surge, with Cremo and LeMorta stepping behind the 3-point arc for three long distance baskets. The 9-1 run broke the game open, putting the score at 62-47 and the Tartans closed out the game for the 70-49 victory.
"Scotia not having Tabbert knocked them down a notch, but they had another guy in there ready to go," LeFever said. "I thought we defended well, for the most part, for three quarters. Offensively, we moved the ball well in our baseline continuity. We moved the ball inside and out and got good looks. I thought we did a nice job. That was just a good team we played tonight."
Cremo finished the night with 31 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, while LeMorta added 17 points.
"Cremo can play inside and out and he knows how to distribute the ball to his teammates," LeFever said. "They had other guys step up and knock down some big shots tonight, too, especially in the fourth quarter. But we also missed some opportunities and easy shots in the fourth quarter. We weren't able to move the ball as fast as we needed to at the end of the game. If we can put four quarters together, I think we can be a dangerous team in sectionals."
Barnhill finished with 13 points, while Dukes had 12 points and six rebounds. Johnston added six rebounds and four assists to go with eight points on the night.
"Barnhill hit those two threes in the third and another one later to keep them in the game, I thought," Giammattei said. "Otherwise they would have had a 10-point quarter, which is manageable. I credit Dukes, he had a big game underneath especially with those put backs in the first half. I really thought Gloversville gave a tremendous effort. They are a deceptive team for 4-10."
Gloversville paid tribute to six seniors - Chris Rockefeller, Corin Smith, Johnston, Brown, Sam Mustafa and Shawn Arnold - before the start of their final home game.
Scotia-Glenville 70, Gloversville 49
Scotia-Glenville16 20 11 23 - 70
Gloversville11 15 16 7 - 49
Cremo 11-7-31, LeMorta 6-2-17, Lincoln 4-0-9, Palleschi 2-0-4, Sausville 4-0-9. Totals: 27-9-70.
Barnhill 5-0-13, Brown 1-3-6, Dukes 3-6-12, Goodwin 1-1-3, Johnston 3-0-8, Rockefeller 1-2-4, Smith 1-0-3. Totals: 15-12-49.
3-point goals: Scotia-Glenville 7 (LeMorta 3, Cremo 2, Lincoln, Sausville); Gloversville 7 (Barnhill 3, Johnston 2, Smith, Brown).
Glens Falls 73, Hudson Falls 29
GLENS FALLS - Lee Girard scored 20 points, leading Glens Falls to a win over Hudson Falls.
Gam Girard added 15 points for the Indians, who improved to 10-2 in Foothills Council play.
Christian Henkel scored seven points to lead Hudson Falls (0-12 Foothills).
Glens Falls 73, Hudson Falls 29
Hudson Falls5 7 7 10 - 29
Glens Falls19 23 15 16 - 73
Winchell 1-0-2, MacDuff 2-0-6, Heym 0-1-1, Hogan 2-0-4, Henkel 2-1-7, Gorham 0-1-1, Strong 2-0-4, West 2-0-4. Totals 11-3-29.
C.Girard 5-2-15, L.Girard 7-2-20, S.Sax 2-0-4, Wooley 1-0-2, Dailey 3-0-6, Green 1-2-5, Endivieri 2-0-6, White 2-0-4, LaNoir 2-0-4, J.Sax 2-0-4. Totals 27-9-73.
3-point goals: Hudson Falls 3 (MacDuff 2, Henkel); Glens Falls 8 (L. Girard 4, C. Girard 3, Green).
South Glens Falls 58, Queensbury 49
SOUTH GLENS FALLS - Justin Ducey and Luke VanDixhorn each scored 15 points, leading South Glens Falls to a Foothills Council win over Queensbury.
Rick Buser and Travis Ramsey each scored 10 points for the Bulldogs, who improved to 8-4 in Foothills Council play.
Troy Kelly scored 16 points to lead Queensbury (7-5 Foothills).
South Glens Falls 58, Queensbury 49
Queensbury9 12 18 10 - 49
SouthGlens Falls17 6 13 22 - 58
Kelly 6-0-16, Homkey 2-0-4, Peltz 3-3-9, Troelstra 2-0-5, Voorhis 0-1-1, Marasco 1-0-2, Moses 3-0-6, O'Leary 2-2-6. Totals 19-6-49.
South Glens Falls
Ramsey 3-2-10, Ducey 4-7-15, Buser 4-0-10, Stewart 0-1-1, Hay 2-3-7, VanDixhorn 6-1-15. Totals 19-14-58.
3-point goals: Queensbury 5 (Kelly 4, Troelstra); South Glens Falls 6 (Ramsey 2, Buser 2, VanDixhorn 2).