SCHENECTADY — What began as a defensive battle ended with a going-away win for the Scotia-Glenville boys’ basketball team Tuesday night in its season debut.
The Tartans found their offensive groove midway through the third quarter and left Schenectady behind in a 57-43 non-league victory at Pat Riley Sports Center.
“We made some big shots,” Scotia-Glenville coach Mark Sausville said. “Ben caught fire.”
Ben Kline shook off a scoreless first quarter and delivered a team-best 21 points for the Tartans. Twelve of those points came in a 15-3 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters, and pointed Scotia-Glenville to a win in Sausville’s first game as a head coach at Schenectady since he led the Patriots for a 12-season stretch that ended in 2010 and included winning the 2001 Class A state championship.
“This building is always in my heart,” said Sausville, whose run at Schenectady included winning five Big 10 titles. “It’s always nice to be back here.”
Schenectady piled up 76 points in the same gym Saturday in a non-league win over Mohonasen, yet struggled to reach 40 against a Scotia-Glenville group that played mostly man-to-man defense and mixed in some 3-2 zone.
“We were out of sync offensively,” Schenectady coach John Miller said after all but one of his players was held below double-digit scoring. “We took uncharacteristic shots. Open shots were not going in. I was trying to find five [players] who could get a run going.”
The most significant run belonged to the Tartans, though, after a putback basket by Damari Holder pulled Schenectady within 34-33 in the third quarter.
“We picked up our energy,” said Kline, a sophomore. “We figured out their defense and broke it down.”
Scotia-Glenville closed the third quarter with a 10-3 spurt during which Kline scored on two drives and sank a 3-pointer just before the buzzer sounded. Kline started the fourth frame with another 3-pointer before his layup extended his teams’ advantage to 49-36.
“You’ve got to keep shooting,” said Kline, who missed a handful of corner 3s in the first period. “Trust your abilities.”
“That was the first time he played in front of a crowd,” said Sausville, noting that Foothills Council teams played in fan-free gyms last season because of COVID-19 restrictions. “It was different for all of the kids.”
The Scotia-Glenville kids were super-aggressive on the boards, which often led to multiple shots at the offensive end and a lot of one-and-dones when the Patriots had the ball.
“We were getting beat on the glass,” Miller said. “I thought we played pretty good defense, but we gave them second and third chances.”
Carson Vien was particularly effective on the boards, and finished with 14 rebounds as well as 10 points for Scotia-Glenville. Griffin Fraterrigo had seven rebounds to go with 12 points. Kline also collected seven rebounds.
“They played hard as hell,” Miller said of the Tartans. “I’m not surprised at all. They are well-coached.”
“We defend hard. They get up when I ask them to,” Sausville said. “We blocked out and played good defense.”
Sausville has been the head coach at Scotia-Glenville since the 2017-18 season. He was an assistant on Jim Giammattei coaching staff when the Tartans won back-to-back state championships in 2014 and 2015, and Sausville was also on head coach Gary DiNola’s coaching staff when Schenectady won the 1998 state championship.
For Schenectady, Holder scored 23 points against the Tartans after he netted 25 in Schenectady’s opener against Mohonasen. Holder scored 15 of his 23 in the first half, which saw the Tartans open up a 30-25 lead.
Malakhi Hooks snared all 10 of his rebounds in the second half for Schenectady and his putback basket in the fourth quarter kept Scotia-Glenville from adding to its key run.
“This is definitely a confidence boost,” Kline said. “This definitely sets us up for the rest of the season.”
Scotia-Glenville 12 18 14 13 — 57
Schenectady 9 16 11 7 — 43
Scotia-Glenville scoring: Fraterrigo 3-4-12, Bradt 1-0-2, Corker 3-1-7, Connor 0-3-3, Kline 9-0-21, Vien 3-3-10, Wilson 1-0-2. Schenectady scoring:
Hooks 1-0-2, Holder 8-3-23, Robinson 2-4-8, Edge 1-1-3, Gaines 1-0-3, Peters 2-0-4. Scoring totals: Scotia-Glenville 20-11-57, Schenectady 15-8-43.