Fulton County

Gloversville turns back rival Johnstown in OT


JOHNSTOWN — Dante Bouchard doesn’t get to play the overtime hero Tuesday night without Joey Rowback’s blocked shot.

That block means nothing without Josh Nail’s second-half performance.

“Joey made that game-saving block at the end, and momentum carried over,” Gloversville coach Aric Kucel said after his team added some heat to a longtime rivalry with a 75-65 overtime win at Johnstown. “So many guys helped us. It was a great team victory.”

Bouchard scored eight of his 29 points in the extra session, and Nails delivered all of his 18 after the intermission as Gloversville prevailed for the first time this season and extended its victory streak against Johnstown to four games.

Last season the Dragons edged the Sir Bills by five and two points in their Foothills Council meetings.

“This one will probably be one of the best wins of the season because of the Gloversville-Johnstown rivalry,” Nails, a sophomore forward, said. “It’s like football. If you beat them, it’s big.”

It looked as though Nails’ 14 points and 12 rebounds in the second-half would go for naught when Johnstown standout Ben Wager snared an offensive rebound and went up for a layup just before time expired. Rowback swooped in for his rejection to keep the game tied at 61, and soon after, Bouchard was sparking a 10-0 overtime run with three free throws and a 3-point hoist, his fifth, that gave the Dragons a 69-62 advantage.

“For a freshman to do that in a hostile environment, absolutely incredible,” Kucel said of Bouchard’s 29-point effort that included 19 in the first half. “He was ready.”

Nicholas Frasier sank a foul shot to get Johnstown (0-3, 1-4) within 63-62 before Bouchard was fouled while hoisting a 3-pointer.

“The foul in the corner on Bouchard was tough,” Johnstown coach Matt Guzielek said. “We closed out. They saw it a different way.”

Nails and Sam Poulin scored on layups to cap Gloversville’s 10-0 spurt in overtime. Nails also dropped in a layup to begin the extra session, too.

“He sits in the first half,” Kucel said of Nails. “We called his number a lot and he delivered a lot.”

Nails played only two minutes in the first half. A second foul had him watching from the bench the rest of the way.

“I’m thinking I’ve got to play smart,” Nails said. “I had to help my teammates.”

Bouchard did that in a big way with his 19 first-half points that included a 4-for-5 showing on 3-point bombs, and with his eight in OT including two free throws in the waning seconds.
“We were trying to make him not touch the ball,” Guzielek said. “Aric runs a lot of stuff for him. In OT he got loose and scored. That’s what good players do.”

Bouchard’s shooting kept Gloversville (1-2, 1-4) close in the first half when Johnstown grabbed a 38-31 lead.

“I saw my teammates needed me,” Bouchard said. “Coach called my number and I had to do it.”

The 5-foot-8 ninth-grader’s previous high was 20 points in a season-starting loss to Ravena-Coeymans-Sekirk.

Nails fueled Gloversville’s second-half comeback with his 14 points. His putback basket tied the game at 59 and his
layup pulled the Dragons even at 61.

“Nails really hurt us tonight,” Guzielek said. “He had a bunch of points and a bunch of rebounds [14 in all]. He was a big differance.”

Poulin and Rowback both scored 11 points for Gloversville, with Poulin also snaring eight rebounds and collecting four assists, one of them setting up Nails for the hoop that tied it at 61.

Wager scored the last of his 19 points on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that gave Johnstown a 55-52 lead entering the final quarter.

Bouchard 8-8-29, Nails 9-0-18, Brown 1-1-4, Mee 1-0-2, Poulin 3-5-8, Rowback 4-0-11. Totals: 26-14-75.
Hoyt 1-2-4, Frasier 6-4-16, Wilson 1-0-2, Billa 1-4-6, Fullington 2-0-5, Boyle 4-3-13, Wager 7-4-19. Totals: 22-17-65.
Gloversville    12 19 21 9 14 — 75
Johnstown    16 22 17 6 4 — 65
Three-point goals: Bouchard 5, Brown, Rowback 3, Fullington, Boyle 2, Wager.


Categories: Sports

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