GLOVERSVILLE - The Gloversville Dragons opened their Foothills Council campaign in winning fashion.
Hosting local rival Broadalbin-Perth, the Dragons put three scorers in double figures as they turned back the Patriots' tenacious pressing defense to record their first victory of the season 51-43 Tuesday night at Gloversville High School.
"It was a good win for us because we are a young team, as far as varsity experience goes," Gloversville coach Mark LeFever said. "We fought through the third quarter where they made a run at us and got through a close game with a lot of pressure, especially in the back court."
Gloversville’s Asa Barnhill (3) drives against Broadalbin-Perth’s Zach Newfrock (33) during Tuesday’s Foothills Council game at Gloversville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Gloversville’s Kevin Johnston (22) drives against Broadalbin-Perth’s Brent Bochenek (22) during Tuesday’s Foothills Council game at Gloversville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
The Dragons (1-1 overall, 1-0 Foothills Council) turned to the varsity game experience of Hunter Goodwin and Kevin Johnston to set the tone in the opening quarter.
Goodwin responded with 10 first-quarter points, including a pair of three-point plays, while Johnston delivered seven points, including a 3-pointer and a buzzer-beating layup. The Patriots (2-2 overall, 0-1 Foothills Council) countered with a seven-point first quarter performance from Ben Bellandi but trailed the Dragons 17-12 at the end of the period.
Broadalbin-Perth pressed the Gloversville ball handlers, forcing turnovers and not allowing the Dragons offense to develop a rhythm.
The Patriots fought back to tie the game at 22 on a 3-pointer from Brent Bochenek. However, James Scholl tipped the rebound in off a missed 3-point attempt by Johnston at the buzzer to give Gloversville a 24-22 advantage at the break.
"We weren't able to capitalize on some of the opportunities that we had," Broadalbin-Perth Coach Tucker Gifford said. "Gloversville stepped up and made some big shots when they needed to, and on the flip side, I don't think we did."
The intensity of the game picked up in the third quarter.
Andre Taylor, who was held scoreless in the first half, delivered six points in the opening two minutes of the second half. The Dragons countered with Asa Barnhill hitting for five points and Barceem Dukes delivering a basket to take at 31-27 advantage.
Broadalbin-Perth took its first lead of the game with 3:53 remaining in the third quarter when Ryan Newfrock converted on a free throw for a 34-33 lead. Mark Sylvia blocked the shot attempt by Zech Brown on the Dragons' ensuing trip down the floor. Bellandi grabbed the loose ball and fired a pass out to Taylor, who laid the ball in for a 36-33 advantage.
Gloversville responded with a 3-pointer from Barnhill to tie the game and a free throw by Goodwin to carry a 37-36 lead into the final quarter.
The Dragons got some breathing room as they put up seven unanswered points in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter to take a 44-36 lead.
Preston Taylor broke the Patriots' scoreless drought with his 3-pointer with 4:37 left to play to cut Gloversville's lead to five.
The Patriots held Gloversville to two field goals in the final four minutes, a put back by Dukes and a layup by Goodwin, but sent the Dragons to the foul line nine times.
Gloversville took over on the boards in the final minutes, often limiting the Patriots to one shot at the basket as the Dragons locked up the 51-43 victory.
"After playing a pretty solid game against Averill Park our expectations for tonight were high," LeFever said. "We struggled early seeing the court and finding guys open against their press. Their press gave us some fits with deflections and we did not do a good job breaking it. It wasn't anything we didn't anticipate coming in, we just did not execute against it."
Goodwin led the Dragons with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Johnston delivered 10 points and seven rebounds. Barnhill contributed 13 points to the Dragons' scoring, while Dukes pulled down eight of his 11 rebounds on the defensive board to go with four points.
"Barceem Dukes did a great job rebounding in the second half," LeFever said. "At halftime I told him to play big, work the inside and be a factor. KJ [Johnston] played well for us tonight. He shot the ball well for us and got some key rebounds late in the game. I think it was a breakout game for him, especially on our home court. We have to get better at converting when we get to the line. We like to get the ball inside and most of the guys do a good job drawing the fouls, we just need to finish. "
Preston Taylor and Bellandi led the Patriots with 12 points apiece, while Andre Taylor connected for nine second-half points and Chris Natoli contributed six rebounds.
"We had eight trips to the foul line and made six opposed to sending them to the line 21 times tonight," Gifford said. "We have got to find a way to get to the line more."
Gloversville 51, Broadalbin-Perth 43
Broadalbin-Perth12 10 14 7 - 43
Gloversville17 7 13 14 - 51
Sylvia 1-0-2, A. Taylor 4-1-9, Bellandi 5-2-12, P. Taylor 4-2-12, Bochenek 2-0-5, Natoli 1-0-2, Newfrock 0-1-1. Totals: 17-6-43.
Brown 2-0-5, Barnhill 5-2-13, Dukes 2-0-4, Johnston 3-3-10, Goodwin 6-3-15, Scholl 2-0-4. Totals: 20-8-51.
3-point goals: Broadalbin-Perth 3 (Preston Taylor 2, Bochenek); Gloversville 3 (Brown, Barnhill, Johnston).