JOHNSTOWN - After falling behind, the Johnstown Sir Bills were able to keep pace with the Glens Falls Indians.
They were even able to close the gap to within six points at one point in the fourth quarter, but were unable to get the final push they needed in a 60-44 Foothills Council loss at Johnstown High School on Monday night.
"We played really hard," Johnstown coach Scott Hale said. "I'm proud of my guys. I'm proud of all 14 guys on this team. They gave their hearts out there. They put everything out there, put themselves on the line, and I'm proud of them."
Johnstown’s Austin Riska drives past Glens Falls’ Lee Girard and toward Jake Dailey (2) during Monday’s Foothills Council boys basketball game at Johnstown High School. (The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo)
The Sir Bills entered the second half trailing the Indians by 10 points and freshman Jamal Vazquez, who figures to be a big part of the Sir Bills' future, cutting the lead to seven points, 31-24, just seven seconds into the half.
The Indians pushed the lead back to 10 points before Mike LaNoir knocked down a 3-pointer giving Glens Falls a 40-27 lead with 5:32 remaining in the third quarter.
"I thought we played well defensively," Glens Falls coach Tony Hammel said. "We got up 10, we got a little bit of a cushion and we let them come back. "
Vazquez followed with four straight points, cutting the lead to nine points and senior reserve Josh Brown hit a mid-range jumper to cut the Indians' lead to seven points, with 3:16 to go in the third quarter.
"We got a little out of sorts on offense a couple of times where we would force shots, which has been kind of our MO for the year," Hammel said. "But we held it together and we were able to win at the end."
The Indians (12-6 overall, 11-3 Foothills Council) were able to hang on for the win due to some key 3-point shooting in crucial situations.
After Brown cut the lead the 40-33, Lee Girard knocked down a 3, restoring the 10-point lead.
Vazquez responded with quick bucket and Ricky Mitchell knocked down a two-point jump shot with 1:17 left in the third quarter to pull the Sir Bills (2-16 overall, 1-13 Foothills Council) to within six points, 43-37.
They wouldn't get any closer as Sam Sax hit a layup with 33 seconds to go in the quarter, giving Glens Falls an eight-point lead, 45-37, going into the final eight minutes.
Then with 6:30 remaining in the game, Girard hit another trey to give Glens Falls an 11-point lead.
"That's lucky," Hammel said. "If those shots don't go in, obviously the game's going to be a lot closer. We hit some shots and we missed some shots. It's all part of the game. The more you make, the better your offense is going to look."
LaNoir scored a game-high 15 points, while Cam Girard added 13. Sax scored 12 points and Lee Girard had 11.
Before the game, the Sir Bills honored their four seniors - Brown, Jerry Groom, Michael Everest and Simeon Bien-Aime - who not only played their last home game Monday, but also their final game as Sir Bills as Johnstown will not go to the Section II Class B tournament.
"What I'm going to miss about those four guys has nothing to do with basketball; it has to do with the type of people they are," Hale said. "I have four individuals, four great individuals, and all four of them are going to go on and be very successful, and they'll certainly be missed by me."
Vazquez led the Sir Bills with 11 points, nine of which came in the third quarter.
"It's definitely about the 10 guys returning now as we look forward to next year," Hale said. "There are certain things that we need to work on. We need to work on them as coaches and we need to work on them as players to make sure we're more successful in the future."
Glens Falls 60, Johnstown 44
Glens Falls16 15 14 15 - 60
Johnstown10 11 16 7 - 44
LaNoir 5-4-15, L. Girard 4-1-11, C. Girard 3-5-13, Green 1-0-3, Sax 6-0-12, Dailey 2-0-4, Wooley 1-0-2. Totals: 22-10-60.
Everest 2-3-7, Groom 2-0-6, Mitchell 2-0-4, Vazquez 5-0-11, Riska 2-3-7, Auty 1-0-2, Heroth 2-1-5, Brown 1-0-2. Totals: 17-7-44.
3-point goals: Glens Falls 6 (C. Girard 2, Green, L. Girard 2, LaNoir); Johnstown 3 (Groom 2, Vazquez).