One burst set the tone. With another, Scotia-Glenville was on its way to a long-awaited championship.
The Tartans roared to a 15-point halftime lead behind Jim Janson, Terell Winney and a stiffling 2-3 zone, and knocked off rival Gloversville for the third time this season, 56-47, in Monday night’s Section II Class A title game at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
“We came out and played so hard,” Joe Ferrari said after his 10-point, 11-rebound performance, which landed the Tartans’ senior forward a spot on the all-tournament team. “It meant so much to us. We proved we’re the best team in the Foothills Council and Section II.”
The Tartans (No. 1 seed, 21-2) started strong by notching 11 of the contest’s first 13 points, and closed the opening half with a 12-0 run to go up, 31-16. Gloverville (No. 2, 20-3) battled a double-digit deficit the rest of the way in a desperate bid to win its first title since 1989, and got within nine only when Chris LeFever dropped in a meaningless layup with two seconds left.
“Anytime you make shots early, it gets the confidence going,” said Scotia-Glenville coach Jim Giammattei, whose Tartans shot 59 percent (13-for-22) in the first-half blitz. “The rim seems a lot bigger. You stop pressing, and just play.”
Scotia-Glenville hadn’t played in a sectional final since 1976, and hadn’t won one since 1975, against Glens Falls. Janson led the way to another with 23 points, 15 rebounds and two blocked shots, earning the Class A most valuable player award, while Winney netted 12 points and Nick Alescio had six points, nine rebounds and four assists.
“Before we got on the bus, I showed them a picture of the 1975 team, and I said, ‘You’ll remember this for the rest of your life,’ ” Giammattei said. “This is probably one of the greatest moments in their young lives.”
Scotia-Glenville played great in the first half, with Janson clicking for 14 points and Winney, a sophomore forward, delivering nine to lead the charge.
“They went inside-outside. They ran their stuff to perfection in the first half,” said Gloversville coach Don Landrio.
“That’s what happens when we move the ball around. We get easy shots,” said the 6-foot-10, Le Moyne College-bound Janson. “I thought our hustle was another key in the first half. We got a lot of 50-50 balls.”
Janson scored on two putbacks and converted a three-point play in the 12-0 run, and Winney had the other five points on a drive and a deep three, as the Tartans assumed their 31-16 lead.
“The last time we played these guys, I had 12 points,” said Janson, who was 10-for-16 from the field. “I kind of took it personally.”
“When is someone going to give him [Janson] his due?” asked Giammattei. “Put any of us in a 6-10 frame, and we’d be tripping all over our feet. He gets a double-double just about every time out, and then there’s the amount of points he keeps the other team from scoring because of his defense.”
All of the Tartans excelled at that end, and when it was over, Gloversville had made just 15 of 58 shots from the field, including a 5-for-31 showing from three-point distance. Tournament all-star Matt Baldwin led the Dragons with 18 points, though the senior guard missed 13 shots from the field.
“They played good defense,” Landrio said. “Credit them for keeping us from doing what we’ve done over the year. We fought and turned it into a scramble game [in the second half], but there was not enough time on the clock.”
It’s been along time since Scotia celebrated to this extent.
“All of my teams have played hard. Why this team? I don’t really have a good answer,” Giammattei said. “I think it was just our turn. Things lined up, and we have great chemistry.”
Four of the Tartans five starters scored in the game-starting 11-3 surge, Winney on a layup and a runner, Ferrari on a layup, Janson on a putback and Tyler Ackley on a three ball.
“We knew what we had to do. We shared the ball and got it inside and outside to our shooters,” Ferrari said. “We played real well.”
Gloversville closed within 19-16 in the second quarter when LeFever scored on a layup and Baldwin sank a jumper. Scotia-Glenville then answered with its half-closing flourish, sparked by Janson’s seven points, and the Tartans took a 40-26 lead into final frame.
LeFever had 11 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals for the Foothills Council co-champions, who shared the crown this season with Scotia-Glenville.
Scotia-Glenville will take on Friday’s Section III (Jamesville-DeWitt)-Section X (Franklin Academy-Malone) winner in a regional final Saturday at 4 at Manley Field House in Syracuse.
“We’ll play Siena. We don’t care,” Giammattei said. “This was the game we wanted. Everything else from here on is just icing.”
Baldwin 4-8-18, McCloskey 3-0-6, LeFever 4-1-11, Mathias 3-1-8, Van Alstyne 0-2-2, Hall 1-0-2. Totals: 15-12-47.
Ackley 1-2-5, Winney 4-3-12, Alescio
2-2-6, Ferrari 4-1-10, Janson 10-3-23. Totals: 21-11-56.
Gloversville 10 6 10 21 — 47
S-G 16 15 9 16 — 56
Three-point goals: Baldwin 2, LeFever 2, Mathias, Ackley, Winney, Ferrari.
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Categories: High School Sports