Basketball: Inspired LaSalle takes down Schalmont

LaSalle Institute coach Steve Sgambelluri showed his team a double feature prior to its game Friday
Zac O'Dell of Schalmont tries to get past Alijah Gibbs of LaSalle Friday, January 22, 2016.
Zac O'Dell of Schalmont tries to get past Alijah Gibbs of LaSalle Friday, January 22, 2016.

LaSalle Institute coach Steve Sgambelluri showed his team a double feature prior to its game Friday night at Colonial Council Liberty Division leader Schalmont.

The second film didn’t have much to do with basketball, but everything to do with battling.

“Before we came over, we looked at film of Schalmont, and then I showed them ‘Rocky IV,’ where Rocky goes against Drago at the end,” Sgambelluri said. “I thought it might help us. I wanted to send a message of toughness.”

The Cadets were certainly that at the defensive end, patient with the ball, and near-perfect from the line inside the final minute in a 47-38 victory.

“Rocky wasn’t supposed to win,” Cadets sophomore forward Joe DeLollo said. “That was us. No one expected much of us.”

The game wasn’t pretty, but LaSalle won it on the scoreboard, and in style points. The Cadets took a body blow from the Sabres in the third quarter — a game-tying 11-0 run — but found a way to regroup to add a quality win to their ledger.

“Rocky gets beat up in the first couple of rounds. In the end, he knocks Drago out,” said DeLollo, who scored 14 points. “We were pretty pumped up after watching that.”

DeLollo was among the Cadets who came up big in the end Friday, going 4-for-4 from the line, including a pair with 18.5 seconds left that made it 44-38.

“We have a real young team,” Sgambelluri said. “We’ve got three sophomores playing prominent roles, and we’re mixing in some juniors. I’ve talked to them a lot about how you can’t be afraid of the moment.”

The Cadets (7-4 Colonial Council, 8-6 overall) were not, and dealt the Sabres (8-3, 11-5) their second straight setback following a six-game win streak.

“Last year, teams didn’t know us,” said Schalmont senior guard Tyler Mattice, one of the holdovers from last season’s Section II Class B runner-up squad. “It’s just like football. We’re on top now, and everybody wants us.”

Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk beat Schalmont 68-52 a week ago in its last game before LaSalle earned a payback victory. LaSalle opened its season with a 51-49 loss to the Sabres .

“It’s the same thing we faced with Ravena,” Schalmont coach Greg Loiacono said. “It was their Super Bowl.”

Mattice came up with three steals and Zac O’Dell scored on a pair of drives in the 11-0 run that pulled Schalmont even at 26-26 in the third. LaSalle went up on a steal and layup by Ray Evans, and Alijah Gibbs scored on a putback to extend the Cadets lead to four.

“Good teams make runs. It’s how you bounce back,” DeLollo said. “We stayed pretty poised.”

That was a major part of LaSalle’s plan.

“We’ve been shooting too fast,” Sgambelluri said. “We wanted to limit their possessions by being patient, using clock, making that extra pass.”

Schalmont, which likes to get out and run, was only able to do that in the third quarter.

“Our goal was to limit their possessions,” said the 6-foot-7 DeLollo. “They average way over 60 points. Our goal was to keep them from running and hold them under 40.”

Gibbs scored 14 points for LaSalle, and Evans added six points, six rebounds and four steals. Zach Ericson led Schalmont with 11 points, and Zac O’Dell had 10 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots. O’Dell produced 24 points in Schalmont’s December win at LaSalle.

“We showed glimpsed of how we can play in the third quarter,” Loiacono said. “We tied it. We couldn’t get over the hump.”

Schalmont got as close as three at 30-27 on a free throw by Matt Bird late in the third quarter, and at 36-33 with 3:15 left when Jesse O’Dell dropped in a baby hook.

“Our defense was good,” Loiacono said. “Offensively, we were a little bit out of rhythm.”


Evans 2-1-6, Duncan 2-2-6, Gibbs 5-4-14, Borey 1-1-4, DeLollo 4-4-14, Carroll 1-0-2, Parker 0-1-1. Totals: 15-13-47.


Ericson 5-0-11, Mattice 0-3-3, Z. O’Dell 4-2-10, Moran 3-0-8, J. O’Dell 1-0-2, Bird 0-4-4. Totals: 13-9-38.

LaSalle 9 15  6 17 — 47

Schalmont 4 11 12 11 — 38

Three-point goals: Evans, Borey, DeLollo 2, Ericson, Moran 2.

Categories: High School Sports

Leave a Reply