After three straight second-place finishes in the Foothills Council, Scotia-Glenville coach Jim Giammattei figures it’s time for the Tartans to grab the brass ring.
“I’m optimistic,” said Giammattei, whose team finished a game behind Queensbury last season. “I expect our kids to be competitive night in and night out.”
It also doesn’t hurt that the Tartans have five experienced players returning, led by seniors Jim Janson and Joe Ferrari.
At 6-foot-10, Janson is the biggest player in the league and has improved every year. “He’s still working at it,” said Giammattei. “For a big man, it usually takes a while.”
Janson averaged 14.4 points per game last season while Ferrari, who also plays inside, was also in double figures (12.7).
Seniors Andy Bissonette, Nick Alescio and John Kinum are all battling for starting spots.
“We’ve got the big body inside, but what we really have going for us this year is very good team chemistry,” said Giamattei. “These are tremendously unselfish kids, and that’s what we need. We truly need to be a team that relies on chemistry.”
Broadalbin-Perth will be right in the mix for the league championship. The Patriots were 8-6 in the league last year and advanced to the Class B championship game before losing to Hoosic Valley.
The Patriots have good size, with 6-7 Justin Boyles and 6-4 Rob Norgard inside, and Brian Blake and Shane Hathaway are proven scorers. But the Patriots will have to replace leading scorer Dan Shultz.
Last year’s success also means that everyone will be aware of Broadalbin-Perth this season.
“We got the No. 4 seed [in the sectionals] last year, and that was definitely different,” said coach Tucker Gifford. “But this group has been together since sixth or seventh grade, and played AAU together, so hopefully, they can take control of the situation.”
Gloversville is never far from the top of the standings, and this year should be no different. And like in years past, the Dragons lack size.
“If we could only get a big kid,” said Dragons coach Don Landrio.
Senior Matt Baldwin led the Foothills in scoring last season, averaging 20 points per game, and will be the triggerman again this year. Senior Gabe Wells got off to a slow start after breaking his hand late in the football season.
“Seven of our returning players got quality time last year,” said Landrio. “But size is going to be our problem.”
Hudson Falls has a different problem. Because of the success of the football team, coach O.J. Lescault has had just week with a full team. “Eight of my 10 players played football,” said Lescault.
Keven Donahue, a 6-6 senior center, should be one of the top players in the league, and senior Ty Michaud is the top guard.
Johnstown has four seniors back from last year’s team, and most of them were role players last season. The fact that the Sir Bills don’t have a lot of size will also hurt.
“We’re small, and the rest of the league is huge this year,” said Sir Bills coach Scott Hale. “Hopefully, we can get up and down the floor, and use that to our advantage.”
Coach: Tucker Gifford.
Last year’s record: 8-6 Foothills, 16-8 overall.
Top returning players: Brian Blake, senior, guard/forward; Rob Norgard, senior, forward; Justin Boyles, senior, center; Shane Hathaway, senior, guard.
Coach: Tony Hammel.
Last year’s record: 6-8, 7-15.
Top returning players: Andrew Patterson, senior guard; Keenan Round, senior, center; Andrew Hansen, senior forward; Matt Rowell, senior forward.
Coach: Don Landrio.
Last year’s record: 8-6, 10-11.
Top returning players: Gabe Wells,
senior, guard; Matt Baldwin, senior, forward.
Coach: O.J. Lescault.
Last year’s record: 6-7, 12-9.
Top returning players: Ty Michaud,
senior, guard; Kevin Donahue, senior, center; Matt Ali, senior, guard; Joe DePalo, senior, forward; Craig Raggi, senior, forward.
Coach: Scott Hale.
Last year’s record: 4-10, 6-15.
Top returning players: Joel Empie,
senior guard; Zach Gordon, senior, guard; Jake Zidich, senior, forward; Wes Clark,
Coach: Doug Fraser.
Last year’s record: 10-4, 13-8.
Top returning players: Chris Coughlan, junior, guard; Tyler O’Brien, senior, center; Ryan Davis, sophomore, guard/forward.
Coach: Jim Giammattei.
Last year’s record: 9-5, 13-8.
Top returning players: Jim Janson,
senior, center; Joe Ferrari, senior, forward; Andy Bissonette, senior, forward; Nick lescio, senior, guard; John Kinum, senior, guard.
SOUTH GLENS FALLS
Coach: John Mossing.
Last year’s record: 4-9, 8-13.
Top returning players: Kevin Donahue, junior, guard; Nate Uline, junior, center; Joe Collier, senior, guard.