Palleschi helps Tartans win another title

After picking up three quick fouls, all Mike Palleschi could do was watch from the Scotia-Glenville
Joe Cremo of Scotia-Glenville drives to the basket in front of Dominique Brown of Troy in the Section II Class A Finals at Guilderland High School Saturday, March 7, 2015.
Joe Cremo of Scotia-Glenville drives to the basket in front of Dominique Brown of Troy in the Section II Class A Finals at Guilderland High School Saturday, March 7, 2015.

After picking up three quick fouls, all Mike Palleschi could do was watch from the Scotia-Glenville bench as Troy chipped away at its huge deficit.

“I wanted to play aggressively. I didn’t want to back down,” said the Tartans’ 6-foot-6 senior forward. “It’s very tough to describe the emotion. You’re all hyped up, and then you’re on the bench with three fouls.”

Palleschi’s second-half effort included two of the most important baskets of his varsity career, and Joe Cremo scored 10 of his 25 points in the final quarter to help the Tartans secure their fourth straight Section II Class A championship with a 54-43 victory Saturday in front of a packed gym at Guilderland High School.

Palleschi’s key baskets kick-started a 9-0 run after Scotia-Glenville (No. 1 seed, 22-0) had surrendered the lead, and Cremo became Section II’s 10th 2,000-point scorer before carrying his team to its state-leading 49th win in a row.

Part of that streak was a 77-75 double-overtime win against Troy in last year’s title game, which the Tartans used as a springboard toward state public school and Federation championships.

“That was Frazier-Ali. Quite a thriller in Guilderland,” said Scotia-Glenville coach Jim Giammattei. “In the first quarter, it looked like a TKO, but I knew that punch wouldn’t be enough.”

Scotia-Glenville held a 14-0 lead when Palleschi was called for his third foul with 2:58 left in the first quarter. Troy (No. 2, 14-8) crept within 24-23 at the break, took its first lead on a three-pointer by Nyjere Pugh to begin the third quarter, and was still up, 30-27, on a drive by Maurice Watson.

“What a swing. That’s how valuable he is,” Giammattei said of Palleschi, an all-tournament team pick who finished with 10 points on 5-for-8 shooting and four rebounds. “When he went out, everyone on the court was the same size, and the game was back on.”

“Mike is so valuable,” said Cremo. “He’s a rim protector. When he’s active, he gets rebounds and putbacks.”

Palleschi scored on a putback, and soon after, dropped in a layup after taking in a fullcourt pass from Scotty Stopera to give the Tartans a 31-30 advantage. Joe Almond added to the lead on another layup court­esy of Cremo’s fullcourt pass, and a three by Stopera early in the fourth made it 36-30.

“Credit to them. They made a run and made plays,” said Troy coach Rich Hurley. “That’s why they’ve won 49 in a row.”

“We like to play at a fast pace,” said Palleschi. “We ran the floor and got layups. They’re the easiest baskets to get.”

Another putback basket by Palleschi had the Tartans leading, 38-32, and down the stretch Cremo went 6-for-6 from the line while Almond sank a three to go with the one he nailed in the game-starting run.

“Late in the game, we all huddled together and said, ‘This is our time. This is our championship,’ ” said Almond, who, along with Stopera, contributed eight points.

“We went on a 14-0 run, Mike went out, and Troy went on a run,” said Cremo, who earned his third Class A most valuable player award. “We had to fight for each other.”

Cremo took down 10 rebounds, had five steals and shared team honors with Stopera by assisting on five hoops. Cremo scored seven points in the 14-0 spurt and eight in the second quarter, including a free throw with 2:03 left that gave him 2,000 points.

“His leadership was phenomenal,” said Giammattei. “He was so composed. He picked guys up during timeouts. He played right through everything. Every time something didn’t go right, he stepped up with a big play.”

Cremo assisted on three baskets in the 14-0 run, with Palleschi turning two feeds into layups.

Watson led Troy with 12 points and 13 rebounds and was named to the all-tourney team. Dyaire Holt and Dominique Brown both added eight points, with Holt’s buzzer-beating three getting the Flying Horses with 24-23.

Baskets by Watson and Brown late in the first quarter began Troy’s comeback. Ryan Carmello and Daniel Buie came off the bench and sank threes in the second quarter when the Flying Horses outscored the Tartans, 19-10.

“It helped with Palleschi getting in foul trouble,” said Hurley. “Our goal was to get someone in foul trouble.”

Troy shot only 38 percent (16-for-42) in its third title-game loss in four years. Troy lost to Christian Brothers Academy in overtime in the 2012 Class AA final, and beat Green Tech the following year for the large-school flag.

“We didn’t make a lot of shots,” saif Hurley. “Six or seven threes looked good, and went in and out. We had a ball get stuck on the rim. One of those days.”

Scotia-Glenville will meet Peru (Section VII, 12-6) in a regional semifinal game Wednesday at 7:45 at SUNY-Plattsburgh. Scotia-Glenville beat Peru last year, 70-41, as part of its nine-game postseason sweep.


Carmello 1-0-3, Holt 3-0-8, Radz 1-4-6, Buie 1-0-3, Brown 4-0-8, Watson 5-2-12, Pugh 1-0-3. Totals: 16-6-43.


Stopera 2-3-8, Almond 3-0-8, Palleschi 5-0-10, Cremo 7-10-25, Corker 0-3-3. Totals: 17-16-54.

Troy  4 19 7 13 — 43

Scotia-Glenville 14 10 9 21 — 54

Three-point goals: Carmello, Holt 2, Buie, Stopera, Almond 2, Cremo.

Categories: High School Sports

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