Robert Tedesco freely admits baseball is his better sport; the Mohonasen junior is hoping to play Division I ball.
Sectional basketball brackets
To view sectional basketball brackets, click on the appropriate link:
He hit what his basketball coach called a grand slam on Saturday night.
Rather, make that two grand slams.
Tedesco sank the game-tying and game-winning three-pointers from virtually the same spot on the court to give No. 4 Mohonasen a 52-47 overtime victory over No. 5 Scotia-
Glenville in a Section II Class A quarterfinal at the University at Albany’ SEFCU Arena.
Tedesco swished a three-pointer from the right with 1:08 remaining to tie the game at 47-47, and
neither of the Schenectady County rivals could score again, sending the game into overtime.
In fact, neither team could put it in the basket for the first 2:35 of overtime until Tedesco did it again, nailing a three-pointer with nine seconds remaining on the shot clock for a 50-47 lead, the Mighty Warriors’ first advantage since early in the third quarter.
“I didn’t really take a big shot all game,” Tedesco said. “I just didn’t think twice.”
Scotia missed on its only other field goal attempt after that.
Mohonasen missed, too, but tied up a loose ball above the top of the key on the long carom off the rim and gained possession with 13.8 seconds remaining. One second later, Nick Battaglia sank two free throws to seal the win.
The Mighty Warriors (12-9) will face top-seeded Albany Academy (18-3), a 62-42 winner over No. 8 Lansingburgh, on Friday in the semifinals at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Jordan Macejka, who scored 20 points, and Cameron Couball, who scored 13, led Mohonasen. Tedesco scored nine points
Joe Ferrari scored 10 points to lead the Tartans, who end their season at 13-8.
Mohonasen continues its turnaround in its third year under Ken Dagostino. The Mighty Warriors suffered through 10 consecutive losing seasons until finishing 12-10 last season. They last won a sectional crown in 1992.
“We were low, bottom of the class,” Tedesco said. “But Coach Dags came in, he made a statement, it was his way or no way, and we all just followed it.”
“It’s big for Mohon,” Dagostino said. “It’s great for our school, our community, our district.”
Still, it wasn’t easy to advance.
After trailing since the second minute of the game, Scotia stormed back from a 21-19 halftime deficit to take a 37-30 lead after three quarters. But attacking the basket to build its lead took its toll — speedy 5-foot-6 point guard Jeff Stopera picked up his fourth foul with 3.9 seconds remaining in the third quarter, while 6-10 center Jim Janson already had collected his third foul. Both began the final quarter on the floor.
“Jeff was well aware that he had his fourth foul, and we stopped attacking,” Scotia coach Jim Giammattei said. “Jeff was well aware that he had to stay in the game. Without Jeff attacking, we’re not attacking.”
“That’s a good team,” Dagostino said. “We’ve always had problems with them. They’re very well coached. But we did it to ourselves. We let guys dribble-drive from 20 feet. We have a Mighty Mouse backcourt — 5-7, 5-8 and 5-9. They have to understand: they all have to rebound, and I think they did not get that until later on.
“We finally did get it.”
The Tartans twice led by as much as nine points, the latest when Joe Ferrari hit a leaner to make it 43-34 with 5:23 remaining in regulation.
But from there, Scotia would only score twice, as Mohonasen closed the game on a 13-4 spurt.
Couball intercepted a pass in the backcourt and drove for a nice give-and-go with Tedesco for a layup to bring the Warriors to within 45-44. It came after Scotia’s fifth turnover in six possessions as Mohonasen applied its press.
The Tartans beat the press for a drive by Pete Lindsay off an inbound pass from Stopera for a
47-44 edge with 1:45 to go. But after misses by both teams, that merely set up Tedesco’s heroics, sinking his first three-pointer 37 seconds later for the tie.
In overtime, Scotia turned it over twice and missed once, while Mohonasen also misfired on its first three possessions before Tedesco hit the eventual game-winner.
“Every time we play a big game like this, we don’t have one guy that we look to every time,” Tedesco said. “We have to go to all five, and that’s how we played tonight.”
“These guys never give up,” Dagostino said.
Cremo 0-0-0, Ferrari 5-0-10, Janson 3-3-9, Lindsay 2-0-4, Stopera 4-1-9, Alescio 4-0-9, W. Shapiro 3-0-6. Totals: 21-4-47.
Tedesco 3-1-9, Couball 5-2-13, Macejka 10-0-20, Battaglia 1-3-6, Robustiano 0-2-2, Gray 1-0-2. Totals: 20-8-52.
Scotia 7 12 18 10 0 — 47
Mohonasen 12 9 9 17 5 — 52
Three-point goals: Alescio, Tedesco 2, Couball, Battaglia.