GLOVERSVILLE - For all but a five-minute span late in the third quarter and the start of the fourth, the Gloversville Dragons were equal to the Averill Park Warriors.
However, that five-minute span was what the Suburban Council contenders needed to gain an advantage as the Warriors defeated Gloversville, 53-45, in a non-league contest Saturday afternoon at Gloversville High School.
"We fought hard for three quarters then we had one break where we turned the ball over on three or four possessions in a row. That hurt us," Gloversville coach Mark LeFever said. "We got beat by a very good Averill Park team that will probably be seeded in the top come sectionals. They have been playing well lately and are a well-rounded team."
Gloversville’s Barceem Dukes (11) puts up a short jump shot over Averill Park’s Lucas Ziegler during Saturday’s non-league game at Gloversville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Myles Joyce got Averill Park off to a fast start, hitting a pair of baskets before Keyshawn Arnold hit for Gloversville's first points nearly two minutes into the game.
The Dragons built on Arnold's basket for an 8-0 run and an 8-4 advantage before Kenny Sears converted on a pair of free throws to end Averill Park's scoring drought with 2:02 left in the opening period.
The Warriors closed out the quarter with a 5-3 run to tie the game at 11 after eight minutes of play.
Joyce opened the second period with back-to-back 3-pointers, while Gloversville got baskets from Asa Barnhill and Barceem Dukes but trailed 17-15.
Dukes led a 6-2 run by the Dragons to grab a 21-19 lead before Dan VanRoy hit a long field goal to tie the game at 21.
Barnhill capped off a strong drive to the basket in the closing seconds with a layup to give Gloversville a 23-21 halftime advantage.
"The second quarter we moved to a little motion offense to help create some mismatches when they switched and got the ball inside to Bar [Barceem Dukes]," LeFever said. "When he gets the ball inside, he makes good decisions. We just didn't get enough second-chance opportunities. I also thought Hunter [Goodwin] did a very good job defending on VanRoy."
VanRoy converted a pair of free throws in the opening seconds of the third quarter to tie the game at 23.
Matt LaBounty added a 3-pointer that Kevin Johnston answered for Gloversville to keep the score tied.
Lucas Ziegler hit another 3-pointer for the Warriors and again Johnston countered the shot with his second 3-pointer of the period to tie the game at 29.
Then after a pair of free throws by VanRoy were answered by the Dragons' Hunter Goodwin, the Warriors got the break they needed.
Building on missed opportunities by the Dragons, Averill Park ended the third period with five unanswered points and added four more to start the quarter for a 40-31 advantage.
Gloversville cut the lead to six with just less than five minutes to play but the Warriors got back-to-back 3-pointers from Ziegler and VanRoy to break the Dragons' momentum and hold on for the 53-45 non-league victory.
VanRoy finished with 18 points, while Joyce added 17 points and five rebounds for the Warriors.
Barnhill scored 16 points for his fifth-straight and ninth double-digit game of the season. Arnold finished a season-high 12 points. Dukes contributed six points and five rebounds, while Goodwin pulled down four rebounds.
"We are trying to get over that edge, play four quarters and create more balance with our players in the scoring column," LeFever said.
After playing three games in five days, the Dragons will be off until Friday when they host Glens Falls in a Foothills Council contest. Varsity tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
"We need to prepare for Glens Falls again at home," LeFever said. "They are a team at the top of our league and are tied with South High for second place. I expect our kids to be ready to play. I have said before they are a resilient group that bounces back ready to compete and play. We just need to put it together for four quarters."
Averill Park 53, Gloversville 45
Averill Park11 10 15 17 - 53
Gloversville11 12 13 8 - 45
Joyce 5-4-17, Sears 0-2-2, VanRoy 6-5-18, Yetto 1-1-3, LaBounty 1-1-4, Ziegler 3-0-9. Totals: 16-13-53.
K. Arnold 5-2-12, Rockefeller 1-0-2, Barnhill 6-2-16, Goodwin 1-1-3, Dukes 3-0-6, Johnston 2-0-6. Totals: 18-5-45.
3-point goals: Averill Park 8 (Joyce 3, Ziegler 3, LaBounty, VanRoy), Gloversville 4 (Barnhill 2, Johnston 2).