GLENS FALLS - A gutsy second-half rally by the Gloversville Dragons came up just short Thursday night at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Second-seeded Troy put No. 3 Gloversville in a 17-point hole at the half.
However, the Dragons erased 10 of those points in the third quarter and completed the comeback to tie the game with 5:17 left to play and take the lead 50-49 with 2:37 left in regulation.
Gloversville’s Hunter Goodwin (23) is challenged by Troy’s Connor Nicoll (34) and Justice Walston as he puts back an offensive rebound during Section II Class A semifinal action Thursday at the Glens Falls Civic Center. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Gloversville’s Asa Barnhill (3) drives to the hoop against Troy’s Jack McLaren (44) during Section II Class A semifinal action Thursday at the Glens Falls Civic Center. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Helped by Zach Radz's 10-point performance in the final three minutes, the Flying Horses retook the lead and held off the Dragons to escape with a 59-55 victory to advance to Saturday's Section II Class A championship game against Foothills Council and two-time defending Class A champion Scotia-Glenville.
The top-seeded Tartans advanced to the title game with a 71-45 victory over Amsterdam Thursday night.
"They are all competitive and want to win, and I thought we played well enough tonight to win," Gloversville coach Mark Lefever said. "Down the stretch we were right there."
Gloversville got out to a quick start with Asa Barnhill hitting a pair of 3-pointers and Keyshawn Arnold adding a free throw to build a 7-2 lead over Troy.
With Dyaire Holt leading the way, the Flying Horses made the most of a series of turnovers by the Dragons. Holt connected for nine points in a 13-0 run en route to holding a 17-9 advantage at the end of the first period.
Troy continued to build its lead in the second quarter, this time with Radz doing the damage by connecting for 10 points in the period to give the Flying Horses a 17-point lead, 35-18, at the half.
Gloversville senior forward Barceem Dukes and Hunter Goodwin stepped up their games under the basket. Dukes hit for eight points and Goodwin four to account for 12 of Gloversville's 17 points in the quarter and trim Troy's lead from 17 to seven, 42-35, heading into the final stanza.
Dukes and Goodwin combined to outscore the Flying Horses 7-2 to close the gap to a bucket, 44-42.
Barnhill provided the bucket, finishing off a pass from Goodwin to tie the game at 44 with 5:17 left in the game.
Holt put Troy back in front with his basket before Dukes finished a three-point play to put the Dragons in front for the first time since the 4:17 mark of the first quarter, 47-46.
Troy ran off three unanswered points before Arnold hit a 3-pointer to put Gloversville up 50-49.
Radz answered with a three-point play before Barnhill drove strong to the hoop to keep the score deadlocked at 52 with 2:02 left on the clock.
Radz hit a 3-pointer to put Troy up 55-52 and Jack McLaren scored on an offensive rebound to take the lead to 57-52 with 35 seconds left.
Arnold got the Dragons back to within a basket with another 3-pointer from the wing.
Barnhill fouled McLaren immediately on the inbound and Goodwin brought down the defensive rebound on the missed free throw to give the Dragons possession in the forecourt after a timeout with 11.8 seconds left to play.
James Scholl inbounded the ball to Barnhill, who dribbled into shooting range before losing his footing when he tried to make a cut while under pressure from Holt, and was called for traveling, giving possession to Troy with 4.2 seconds remaining.
Gloversville again was forced to foul on the inbound; only this time, it was Radz, who went to the line and sank both free throws to give the Flying Horses the 59-55 final score.
"We dug ourselves a hole in the first half. We hit some threes and went to the hoop early, then we got stale for awhile," Lefever said. "We didn't read well and we ran some sets that didn't work too well. The second half we had a little more motion and more movement initiating double screens to isolate Asa and attack the basket. Barceem and Hunter were huge in the second half. Our inside play dominated in most of the second half and got us back in the game along with some complimentary perimeter shooting. That is team basketball. That is the way you want to play."
Barnhill finished the night with 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists for the Dragons. Dukes added 15 points, 13 of which came in the second half, seven rebounds and three assists, while Goodwin pulled down 10 rebounds to go with 11 points, and Arnold hit four 3-pointers en route to his 13-point, six-rebound effort.
"We fought so hard to get back even, then they knocked down a couple of shots," Lefever said. "It was a game of runs. We had our share of runs and they made some late. They are a very talented team. From the start we knew we could play with them and compete. It just took us too long to get going tonight."
Radz had 10 fourth-quarter points to take his game-high scoring to 23. Holt finished the game with 11 points and McLaren chipped in with 10 points and five rebounds.
Gloversville finished its season with a 15-5 overall record and was runner-up to Scotia-Glenville in the Foothills Council standings with an 11-3 record.
Troy 59, Gloversville 55
Gloversville9 9 17 20 - 55
Troy17 18 7 17 - 59
Barnhill 6-2-16, Dukes 5-5-15, Goodwin 4-3-11, Arnold 4-1-13. Totals: 19-11-55.
Carmello 1-0-3, Holt 4-2-11, Radz 7-6-23, Walston 4-0-8, Watson 1-0-2, Nicoll 1-0-2, McLaren 3-3-10. Totals: 21-11-59.
3-point goals: Gloversville 6 (Arnold 4, Barnhill 2); Troy 6 (Radz 3, Holt, Carmello, McLaren).