The Scotia-Glenville boys’ basketball team is headed west to the land of the giant.
“We’re not satisfied just to make the trip,” Tartans senior center Jim Janson said of today’s Class A state regional championship game at
Cicero-North Syracuse High School. “We’re going to have a ton of fun on the trip, but once the ball goes up, we’re there to play a game.”
It’s a game no Scotia-Glenville team has ever participated in before, and supplying the competition will be defending state public school and Federation champion Jamesville-DeWitt (Section III, 23-1). Rather than a back-pocket slingshot, the gritty Tartans (21-2) will attack with their inside-outside offense and a 2-3 defensive zone that few teams have successfully cracked.
“No one in the state expects us to win. We’re hoping to open their eyes and make them play,” said Scotia-Glenville senior guard Nick Alescio. “We’re going up there to play hard, play tough and compete.”
Jamesville-DeWitt brushed aside Franklin Academy (Section X, 20-6) in a regional semifinal game Friday, 90-42, to set up today’s 3 p.m. matchup. Christian Brothers Academy (21-3) will play CBA-Syracuse (Section III, 20-4) at 1 p.m. in another regional final at C-NS.
Jamesville-DeWitt’s path to its state championships in 2008 included a 74-34 regional rout of Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons. When the Red Raiders won both state titles in 2004, their run included a 61-33 victory over Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.
“Did you see what the Dutch did to the Dominican Republic?” Tartans coach Jim Giammattei said in reference to the Netherlands’ two recent wins in the World Baseball Classic. “We’re going up there to give them everything we have.”
Scotia-Glenville earned the trip with a three-game sweep in the Section II Class A tournament, first beating Averill Park (49-32) before downing Mohonasen (61-44) and rival Gloversville (56-47) for the third time in a matchup of No. 1 and No. 2 seeds.
“The last two weeks, it’s been electric in our school, and Tuesday, after we beat Gloversville, the school was a live wire,” Giammattei said. “There was a vibe. Winning changes the atmosphere in the school and the community. There’s a lot of emotion because it’s such a great accomplishment.”
“Scotia has a great program,” said the 6-foot-10 Janson, who was named the Class A tournament most valuable player after totaling 23 points and 15 rebounds against Gloversville. “It’s weird that we haven’t had a title in 34 years.”
“Coming into the season, I never thought it would happen,” said sophomore forward Terell Winney, the youngest of Scotia-Glenville’s starters. “It’s something we’ll never forget.”
Giammattei witnessed Scotia-Glenville’s last title run in 1975 as a 12-year-old, when the Tartans beat Mont Pleasant (72-70), Saratoga Springs (63-62 overtime) and Glens Falls (58-55) for Class A honors, and then edged Troy, 63-61, in the Class A-AA playoff on Mark Rekucki’s 18-foot jumper with two seconds left. Regionals did not start until the following season, and a full state tournament was not in place until 1978.
Scotia-Glenville lost in the 1976 Class A final to Mont Pleasant, and never made it back to a championship game until this winter. Giammattei had No. 1-seeded teams in 1998 and 2004, and No. 2 seeds in 1997, 2003 and 2005.
“An ocean full of sweat went into this. This program is deserving. It was our time,” said Giammattei, in his 17th season as the school’s varsity coach. “They were motivated, and they showed great desire.
“Basketball is a game of mistakes, and truly, it’s about the next play. They fought through things when things weren’t going great.”
And the Tartans did it together.
“We all have a spot on this team,” said Winney, who, along with senior guard Tyler Ackley and Alescio, joined the starting lineup this year to complement Janson and senior forward Joe Ferrari. “We all fit really well together.”
“Take us apart, and we really don’t work. We are so much better as five than we are as individual entities,” Giammattei said. “That’s the epitome of what a team is. When a guy moves in our zone, four other guys go. That’s the power of team.”
Scotia-Glenville has jumped to No. 6 in the state rankings by virtue of its 11-game winning streak that started after a 62-59 loss against Broadalbin-Perth. The Tartans beat South Glens Falls to begin the streak, 54-44, before posting road wins at Gloversville (61-50) and Hudson Falls (72-51).
“After we came back in the second half and beat Gloversville, we started to think we could be pretty good,” Giammattei said. “We really started clicking.”
Scotia-Glenville trailed only briefly against Gloversville Monday before scoring nine straight points to erase a 3-2 deficit. A 12-0 run to end the opening half pushed the Tartans’ advantage to 40-26, and only a late field goal kept them from winning by double digits again.
Ferrari had 10 points and 11 rebounds, and earned a spot on the all-tournament team, while Winney netted 12 points.
“We laid it all on the floor. We knew it was going to be a blood bath, and it was,” said Alescio, who had six points, nine rebounds and four assists in the title game. “We just didn’t give in. In the second half, they wanted to make it a fast-paced game and a physical game, and it worked for a while, then we got our composure back.”
“At the half, I was thinking we have to really drop the pedal. Attack, attack, attack,” Giammattei said. “Play hard, play smart and play together.”
Scotia-Glenville limited Gloversville to 25.8 percent shooting, which included a 5-for-31 three-point performance.
“We defended. That’s why we won the section,” Giammattei said. “We had nights when we didn’t shoot great, and it didn’t matter because we had 21 nights when the other team didn’t shoot well.”
Scotia-Glenville hasn’t faced a team that can equal Jamesville- DeWitt’s offensive punch. Behind its guard tandem of Syracuse-bound Brandon Triche (22.2 ppg.) and Alshwan Hymes (16.8 ppg.), the Red Rams have scored over 80 points 14 times, with three of those performances coming in the Section III tournament in wins over Fowler (85-60), Oneida (89-70) and Notre Dame of Utica (96-60).
“I’ve played with a lot of their guys,” said the Le Moyne College-bound Janson (18 ppg.). “They’re incredible players, but the things they do well, we stop. I’m hoping our defense can help us get through it.”
Jamesville-DeWitt is No. 7 in the USA Today East Region rankings. The Red Rams won 38 straight games before losing to CBA-Syracuse, 67-66, on Feb. 13.
CBA-Syracuse advanced to today’s Class AA regional final with a 78-42 win over Massena (Section X, 18-6).
Maple Hill wins
Trent Tibbits scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half, and Adrian Donnelly netted seven of his 10 in the fourth quarter as Maple Hill (24-1) defeated Seton Catholic, 57-43, in a Class C regional game Friday at Hudson Valley Commuity College.
Jaime Schultz scored 11 points and Donnelly finished with 10 in Maple Hill’s first regional game. Kyle Kirby led Seton Catholic (Section VII, 13-10) with 14 points. Maple Hill plays Norwood-Norfolk (Section X, 11-13) today at 5 at HVCC.
Drew Boyea piled up 26 of his 32 points in the second half, and Brad Spinner added 18 as Chateaugay (Section X, 21-4) rallied for a 61-51 Class D win over Sharon Springs at SUNY-Potsdam.
Sharon Springs (16-8) held a 22-17 halftime lead before Boyea triggered an 11-2 third-quarter run by scoring all of those points.
Kris Kelly led Sharon Springs with 17 points and Mike Schilde had 13. Sharon Springs made its last regional appearance in 2003, and beat Lisbon before losing to Moriah.
Ogdensburg Free Academy (Section X, 19-6) beat Northeastern Clinton (Section VII, 22-1) in a Class B regional semifinal Friday, 69-38, and will take on Broadalbin-Perth (17-7) today at 5:15 at SUNY-Plattsburgh.
MAPLE HILL 57, SETON CATHOLIC 43
Pellerin 2-0-6, Fregeau 6-0-13, Schofield 1-1-3, Gohlke 1-5-7, Kirby 5-2-14. Totals: 15-8-43.
Prinzo 1-5-7, Despart 2-2-7, Tibbits 6-5-18, Schultz 4-2-11, Donnelly 2-6-10. Totals: 16-22-57.
Seton Catholic 5 9 9 20 — 43
Maple Hill 12 17 8 20 — 57
Three-point goals: Pellerin 2, Fregeau, Kirby 2, Despart, Tibbits, Schultz.
CHATEAUGAY 61, SHARON SPRINGS 51
Boyea 9-11-32, Dwyer 1-0-2, Franze 1-0-2, Layton 2-1-5, Slater 1-0-2, Spinner 5-6-18. Totals: 19-18-61.
Bartlett 2-0-6, French 0-1-1, Kelly 7-3-17, Larkin 2-0-5, Schilde 5-0-13, B. Ullman 1-0-2, D. Ullman 3-1-7. Totals: 20-5-51.
Chateaugay 6 11 22 22 — 61
Sharon Springs 15 7 8 21 — 51
Three-point goals: Boyea 3, Spinner 2, Bartlett 2, Larkin, Schilde 3.
GAZETTE COVERAGEEnsure access to everything we do, today and every day, check out our subscribe page at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe
More from The Daily Gazette:
Categories: High School Sports