Tartans are eager to end title drought

Mohonasen coach Ken Dagostino sat slumped in a chair, still somewhat bewildered after his Mighty War

Mohonasen coach Ken Dagostino sat slumped in a chair, still somewhat bewildered after his Mighty Warriors were stymied in Friday’s Section II Class A boys’ basketball semifinal against Scotia-Glenville.

“We never got it going, and they did,” he lamented after a 61-44 defeat. “They got the first basket, and it was tough for us every step of the way after that.”

The Tartans pinned down Averill Park to begin their title quest, and Friday’s lockdown performance gave them an opportunity to win the school’s first title since 1975. Gloversville will supply the competition tonight at 7:30 at the Glens Falls Civic Center, marking the third meeting between the Foothills Council co-champions this year.

Both teams are 20-2, with No. 1 seed Scotia-Glenville and No. 2 Gloversville ranked eighth and ninth, respectively, in the state.

“We couldn’t ask for more. Gloversville couldn’t ask for more,” Scotia-Glenville coach Jim Giammattei said. “It’s nice for Section II, one seed against two. We’re looking forward to the opportunity.”

For Gloversville, it will be its fourth shot at a championship since a 1989 Class B triumph over LaSalle. Scotia-Glenville last played in a final (Class A) in 1976, losing to Mont Pleasant, and topped Glens Falls for the title the year before.

“I hope we’ll be ready,” Gloversville coach Don Landrio said.

“Scotia is very good. They know how to play to their strengths.”

Those would be 6-foot-10 senior Jim Janson at the offensive end, and a 2-3 zone defense which he anchors at the other. The LeMoyne College-bound center blocked four shots, altered several more and snared nine defensive rebounds against Mohonasen, while Tyler Ackley, Terell Winney, Nick Alescio, Andy Bissonette and Joe Ferrari caused havoc around him.

“You go to a Syracuse game, and you’re going to see them play a 2-3 zone. Watch us, and you’re going to see us play a 2-3 zone,” Giammattei said. “That’s us. That’s what we do, and we’re going to fire it up.”

Gloversville had some success against the Tartans’ zone, yet still fell twice to them in league play, 58-54 and 61-50. The Dragons have won eight consecutive games since that second defeat, capped by Friday’s 61-57 thriller against Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons.

“Bishop Gibbons is a great team,” Landrio said after his Dragons held off the Knights. “They play in the Big 10, but you know what, the Foothills Council is pretty good this year.”

Senior guard Matt Baldwin generated 22 points against Gibbons — making 10 of 13 from the foul line — after scoring 26, with six threes, in a 50-40 first-round win against Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake. Baldwin’s semifinal work included 18 rebounds, three assists and two steals.

“Baldwin is going to get his points. He is a great player, and we have to be aware of him all the time,” Giammattei said. “We have to make things difficult for him.”

His teammates delivered down the stretch against Gibbons, with Gabe Wells tying the game, and Chris LeFever and Chad McCloskey adding clutch free throws, after the Dragons let a 15-point lead get away.

“This team has a lot of heart and desire,” said Baldwin, the school single-season record-holder with 65 three-point hoops.

Scotia-Glenville opened tourn­ament play with a 49-32 win over Averill Park, limiting the Warriors to 12 first-half points.

“Forty points is always our goal,” said Janson, who totaled 18 points, 20 rebounds and six blocks against AP. “We talk about that all the time. Move our feet, talk and contest shots.”

Tonight’s winner advances to the state regional final Saturday in Syracuse (4 p.m.) vs. the Section III (Jamesville-DeWitt)-Section X (Massena) winner, which will be determined Friday. Jamesville- DeWitt is the defending state champion.


Maple Hill (22-1) and Canajo­harie (19-4) will both make their Class CC-C playoff debut tonight at 6 at the Civic Center after winning Section II championships Saturday. The Wildcats held off Stillwater in the Class CC final, 51-48, and the Cougars rolled past Duanesburg in the Class C title game, 55-36, behind Payton Stahler’s 15 points and nine rebounds.

Tonight’s winner meets the Section VII champ (Seton Cath­olic or Ticonderoga) in a regional semi­final Friday (7 p.m.) at Hudson Valley Community College. Section X rep Norwood-Norfolk awaits that winner Saturday (5 p.m.) at HVCC

The Section II boys’ tournament concludes with Tuesday night’s Class AA championship game at 7 pitting Christian Brothers Academy (20-3) and Albany Academy (22-1) at the Times Union Center. CBA will be making its seventh straight appearance in a title game after outlasting Shenendehowa in overtime in the semifinals, while Albany Academy also went OT in eliminating 2008 state champ Bishop Maginn.

Categories: High School Sports

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