Tartans coast into finals
GLENS FALLS Amsterdam was the latest team to feel the brunt of Scotia-Glenville’s prolific offense Thursday night.
A first-quarter spurt erased a deficit, and another run early in the second all but assured a runaway win for the Tartans and another trip to the Section II Class A championship game.
“We were really excited to play in this atmosphere again,” said Scotia-Glenville senior Dom LeMorta after the state’s only undefeated Class A team forged a 71-45 victory at the Glens Falls Civic Center. “We came out and played our defense, moved the ball and hit shots. It worked out just as we hoped.”
Amsterdam (No. 5 seed, 9-11) held a 6-2 lead after Kory Bergh sank a three-point basket, and LeMorta answered with one of his own to begin a 12-0 surge by the Tartans.
Scott Stopera began an 11-2 flurry in the second quarter with a three as Scotia-Glenville’s advantage grew to 25-11, and LeMorta’s longball just before the halftime buzzer made it 42-22.
“We were sharp,” said Scotia-Glenville coach Jim Giammattei. “Besides a couple of turnovers, we can’t play much better. That’s how you put up 42 points.”
Scotia-Glenville (No. 1 seed, 20-0) will make its fourth straight title-game appearance and fifth in six years Saturday at 7:15 here against Troy (No. 2, 17-3). The Flying Horses held off Gloversville in Thursday’s first semifinal, 59-55, and the Tartans finalized the much-anticipated matchup on the strength of their first-half blitz.
“We didn’t answer their runs,” said Amsterdam coach Tony Orapello. “With these guys, you have to be sharp.”
The state’s top-ranked squad made 15 of 29 shots from the field in the first half with five threes, and added seven free throws in 10 attempts.
LeMorta and Joe Cremo both had five points in the Tartans’ 12-0 first-quarter run, Alex Sausville notched six in the 11-2 spree that followed, and Scotia-Glenville was headed toward its 19th double-digit win.
“Everyone was contributing,” said LeMorta, who was 4-for-5 from three-point range and totaled 18 points. “Alex was hitting. Scott was hitting. Joe was going to the basket.”
Cremo scored 21 points and took down 13 rebounds, and Mike Palleschi had 15 points and 11 rebounds and sparked the Tartans’ defense with seven blocked shots. Stopera collected five assists and eight points, with his layup giving Scotia-Glenville a 50-25 cushion three minutes into the third quarter.
“You know they’re going to score,” said Orapello. “We didn’t score enough. We weren’t on like we were the other day.”
Zach Radz nailed a tie-breaking three-pointer with 1:40 left, and Jack McLaren’s two free throws soon after lifted Troy to a win after the Flying Horses let a big lead slip away.
Troy was up at the first break, 17-9, behind Dyaire Holt’s nine points, used four threes, including a buzzer beater by Ryan Carmello, to make it 35-18 at the half and the state’s No. 3-ranked team held a 37-20 advantage early in the third after a layup by Justice Walston.
Gloversville went on a 30-12 run after that and led, 50-49, on a jumper by Keyshawn Arnold with 2:38 to go.
“In the second half, we did a lot more motion, a lot more movement, and we attacked the basket,” said Gloversville coach Mark LeFever. “If we had one more quarter.”
Radz gave Troy a 52-50 lead on a three-point play and Asa Barnhill tied it with a jumper. Radz then delivered his go-ahead three, and McLaren connected from the line after two misses by the Dragons (No. 3, 15-5).
“It’s so disappointing when you fight so hard to get even and they knock down a couple shots,” said LeFever.
Arnold’s three got Gloversville within 57-55 with 23 seconds left. After McLaren missed the front end of a one-and-one and Barnhill traveled, Radz completed a 23-point effort with a pair from the line.
Druziak 0-2-2, Bergh 3-1-9, Martin 3-2-9, Robertshaw 1-0-2, Robinson 1-1-3, Valentin 3-1-7, Rodriguez 1-2-4, Pritchard 1-0-4, Stanavich 2-1-5. Totals: 16-10-45.
Stopera 2-3-8, Palleschi 6-3-15, Clune 1-0-2, Sausville 3-0-7, Cremo 7-7-21, LeMorta 7-0-18. Totals: 26-13-71.
Amsterdam 7 15 9 14 — 45
Scotia-Glenville 14 28 12 17 — 71
Three-point goals: Bergh 2, Martin, Stopera, Sausville, LeMorta 4.
TROY 59, GLOVERSVILLE 55
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.
Gloversville 9 9 17 20 — 55
Troy 17 18 7 17 — 59
Three-point goals: Barnhill 2, Arnold 4, Carmello, Holt, Radz 3, McLaren.