Lady Bills rally to defeat Gloversville

Guzielek, Lee power Johnstown to 44-42 Foothills Council win over Lady Dragons

Johnstown’s Claire Guzielek (24) celebrates as she is rushed by her teammates after leading the Lady Bills’ second-half rally to defeat Gloversville Thurday night at Johnstown High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

JOHNSTOWN — The Johnstown Lady Bills found themselves in a hole after a slow start against inter-city rival Gloversville.

The Lady Dragons took advantage of Johnstown’s slow start to build an 11 point halftime advantage.

However, the Lady Bills came up with a strong defensive effort in the second half to slow down the Gloversville offense and completed their comeback with just over 10 seconds left to claim the 44-22 Foothills Council South victory Thursday at Johnstown High School.

“We have just struggled the last seven or eight games at playing hard for four quarters,” Johnstown coach Tim Derwin said. “Our goal was to play hard in the first half. In the first quarter and the start of the second we did but couldn’t buy a basket. That is what pushed us. I thought we got multiple second-shot attempts and rebounds. We worked, worked, worked and couldn’t get the ball to go down. At the half we were down 11. I told the girls if you think you worked hard in the first half you have to come out and work harder in the second half and make a run and they did.”

Harmony Philo got the Lady Dragons off to a fast start with a 3-pointer just over two minutes into the game. Gloversville built on the shot to pull away for an 11-5 advantage. They continued to build the lead through the second quarter, stretching the lead to 13 points, 21-8, midway through the period.

The Lady Bills battled back, cutting the Gloversville lead to eight, 22-14 with a minute left in the opening half. Philo again hit a 3-pointer with 39 seconds left to give the Lady Dragons a 25-14 halftime advantage.

The Lady Bills went to work early in the third period, pressuring the Lady Dragons, forcing four turnovers in a 7-2 run to trim the lead to six, 27-21.

Gloversville coach Molly Swan called a time out to settle her team down and they responded by forcing four turnovers while putting up five unanswered points to again take the lead to 11, 32-23 with 4:12 left in the third period.

Anna Lee sparked a 7-1 quarter-ending run to close the Lady Dragons’ lead to five points, 33-28, entering the final eight minutes of play.

The Lady Bills quickly made it a one-point game, 33-32, behind a pair of free throws from Claire Guzielek and a basket from Lee.

Kerri Hauser answered with a pair of layups to put Gloversville up 37-32 before Lee again hit a 3-pointer and Guzielek converted on a pair of free throws to tie the game at 37 with 2:40 left in regulation.

Philo was fouled on a 3-point attempt and converted on all three free throws to put the Lady Dragons back on top before Jesse VanNostrand hit a 3-pointer for Johnstown to tie the game at 40 apiece.

Guzielek gave Johnstown its first lead of the night with a basket with 1:47 left to play. This time Alex Benfatti answered for Gloversville with her drive to the hoop to tie the game at 42 with 56 seconds left.

Both teams turned the ball over on their next possessions before Guzielek banked a shot off the glass to give the Lady Bills a 44-42 edge with 10.6 seconds showing on the clock.

After a full time out, Gloversville inbounded the ball near half court and got the ball to Benfatti, whose 3-point attempt hit the rim and Hauser got the rebound. Her shots rolled across the rim and Kendra Lavery got the rebound but could not get a shot off in time as the Lady Bills celebrated their come-from-behind victory.

“They got it to six then Gloversville made a run and got it back to 12 and we made another run,” Derwin said. “In the fourth quarter we played great defense and my little eighth-grader [Anna Lee] made some huge shots. And then Claire, a senior, made the winning shot. We had multiple sets and we kept them off balance. When we made our run in the fourth quarter we kept them off balance and forced them to make mistakes.”

Lee finished with 15 points all coming in the second half, while Guzielek also delivered a 15-point performance on senior night for the Lady Bills.

Philo finished with 18 points for Gloversville, while Hauser had 10 and Benfatti finished with eight.

“We definitely struggled in the second half. I am kind of speechless as to how everything panned out,” Swan said. “I thought Kerri [Hauser] was working the inside but either couldn’t finish or was struggling to get a call down low. These are the tough ones that you have to be rebound from especially at the this time of the season. We have to have a short memory.”

Gloversville (8-8 overall, 6-5 Foothills) returns home to close out the regular season with a four-game homestand. The Lady Dragons will host Schuylerville Monday and Scotia-Glenville Thursday before hosting a Foothills Council crossover game on Feb. 13 before closing out the regular season against Watervliet on Feb. 14.

Johnstown (5-11 overall, 4-7 Foothills) hits the road for three straight games. The Lady Bills will travel to play Scotia-Glenville Monday and Galway in a make-up game from the Mayfield Tournament on Tuesday before traveling to play Broadalbin-Perth on Thursday. The Lady Bills will host a Foothills crossover game on Feb. 13.

Johnstown 44, Gloversville 42

Gloversville 11 14 8 9 — 42

Johnstown 5 9 14 16 — 44


Hauser 4-2-10, Philo 5-6-18, Langley 1-0-2, Lavery 2-0-4, Benfatti 3-2-8. Totals: 15-10-42.


VanNostrand 2-0-5, Baldwin 1-0-2, VandeWalker 1-0-2, Morey 0-1-1, Lee 5-2-15, Guzielek 4-7-15, Cirillo 1-2-4. Totals: 14-12-44.

3-point goals: Gloversville 2 (Harmony Philo 2); Johnstown 4 (Anna Lee 3, Jesse VanNostrand).

Amsterdam 62, Scotia-Glenville 50

SCOTIA –The Lady Rams clinched their third-straight Foothills Council South championship Thursday with their victory over Scotia-Glenville.

Nine Fedullo led Amsterdam (14-3 overall, 10-1 Foothills) with 23 points, while Brady Santiago hit four 3-pointers in her 16-point performance and Giulianna Pritchard finished with 14.

Mary Kate Palleschi led Scotia-Glenville (7-4 Foothills) with 16 points, while Mikyla Mitchell finished with 11 and Jazmyne Corker chipped in with 10.

Amsterdam 62, Scotia-Glenville 50

Amsterdam 15 10 19 18 — 62

Scotia-Glenville 11 10 11 18 — 50


Catena 1-1-3, N. Fedullo 10-3-23, Lomanto 2-0-6, Pritchard 3-8-14, Santiago 5-2-16. Totals: 21-14-62.


Corker 5-0-10, Estes 2-0-6, Geniti 1-0-3, Mitchell 2-7-11, Palleschi 7-2-16, Porter 1-2-4. Totals: 18-11-50.

3-point goals: Amsterdam 6 (Brady Santiago 4, Maria Lomanto 2); Scotia-Glenville 3 (Caitlin Estes 2, Juliana Geniti).

South Glens Falls 50,

Broadalbin-Perth 28

BROADALBIN — South High got scoring from nine players in their Foothills Council victory over Broadalbin-Perth Thursday.

Karlee Benincasa led the Bulldogs with 10 points, while Mariah Buser and Ally Buser finished with nine points apiece.

Isabella Magliocca paced Broadalbin-Perth with seven points, while Ali Visco added six points.

South Glens Falls 50, Broadalbin-Perth 28

South Glens Falls 22 11 9 8 — 50

Broadalbin-Perth 4 4 9 11 — 28

South Glens Falls

Collier 2-0-4, Benincasa 4-2-10, M. Buser 2-3-9, Carpenter 1-2-4, Shaw 1-2-4, A. Buser 3-0-9, Bovair 2-0-4, Ruby 1-3-5, Palmer 0-1-1. Totals: 16-13-50.


DiCaterino 0-3-3, Morreale 1-2-4, I. Magliocca 2-1-7, Visco 2-2-6, H. Magliocca 1-1-4, Thompson 1-2-4. Totals: 7-11-28.

3-point goals: South Glens Falls 5 (Ally Buser 3, Mariah Buser 2); Broadalbin-Perth 3 (Isabella Magliocca 2, Hannah Magliocca).

Center State Conference

Cooperstown 55, Dolgeville 18

COOPERSTOWN –Sarah George connected for nine of Dolgeville’s 18 total points in Thursday’s Center State Conference loss.

Julie Ford led Cooperstown with 19 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks, while Mya Murdock and Piper Seamon finished with six points apiece.

Cooperstown 55, Dolgeville 18

Dolgeville 4 4 3 7 — 18

Cooperstown 11 13 19 12 — 55


George 4-0-9, R. Williams 1-0-2, I. Williams 1-0-2, A. Williams 2-1-5. Totals: 8-1-18.


Ford 9-1-19, Schuermann 2-1-5, Murdock 2-0-6, Perrino 1-2-4, Noto 2-0-4, Seamon 2-2-6, Fountain 1-1-3, Wehner 2-0-4, Trosset 2-0-4. Totals: 23-7-55.

3-point goals: Dolgeville 1 (Sarah George); Cooperstown 2 (Mya Murdock 2).