CARS HOMES JOBS

Raised to be champions

Monday, March 17, 2014
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— Remember when Jumpin’ Jack’s was flooded in 2011?

All you could see of our favorite Scotia landmark was the tops of the picnic pavilions, the roof of the restaurant and the trademark sign. Whale fry, indeed.

On Sunday, it was water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink for East High, which was drowned in the fourth quarter by the Scotia-Glenville boys’ basketball team.

The five starters did not give up a point, and by the time the Orientals got a garbage-time layup in the closing seconds, Alex Sausville, Joe Cremo, Scott Stopera, Dom LeMorta and Mike Palleschi had left the court to thunderous standing ovations.

A three-point game through three quarters turned into a rout by virtue of Scotia outscoring East, 21-0, until that layup.

The great thing about this team from the small high school up Sacandaga Road is how closely the community identifies with it, and vice versa.

There are no ringers, no transfers, no one who needed to be embraced as an outsider or rejected as an interloper.

As the team stood in the background while head coach Jim Giammattei was interviewed on TV, former Tartan Zach Bye beamed and said, “These kids were all ballboys when I was playing.”

“Born and raised. These kids are born and raised,” Giammattei said. “This is from kindergarten right through. I look at the pictures of these kids together in second, third grade . . . same kids. No one moved in, no one showed up, just . . . born and raised.”

Stopera’s dad, Glenn, is an assistant coach; Sausville’s dad, Mark, is, too.

The great thing about this team leads to the next greatest thing about this team: a cohesive style that is difficult to duplicate with players who don’t know each other as well as kids who have been this tight for this long.

It showed on Saturday, when each player did a little of everything, and again on Sunday, when each player did his own thing, not in a selfish way, but in the way that the situation demanded.

LeMorta hit just enough threes to keep the defense honest, and Palleschi did the dirty work inside, tipping stuff, blocking things and just being tall and rangy.

Cremo, drawing double- and triple-teams inside the free-throw line, was the funnel through which everything filtered in the middle.

Then it was up to Stopera (11 assists) to find the open man.

That was Sausville, who served up a tournament-record eight three-pointers, most of them Jackburgers from well behind the countertop.

“No one was out of character,” Giammattei said.

Asked if “born and raised” meant shakes and cheeseburgers, Giammattei laughed and said, “Unfortunately, that’s why we looked a little slow today.”

Sub . . . WAY!

 
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