While addressing his basketball team prior to Saturday’s showdown with Foothills Council leader Hudson Falls, Scotia-Glenville coach Jim Giammattei never mentioned the significance of the game.
It wasn’t necessary.
“I didn’t say anything about it being a huge game. I just told the guys we’re here to compete. We’re going to go out swinging one way or another,” Giammattei said. “I told them in two hours we’ll be back in this lockerroom, and I want no regrets. Let’s play hard and leave it all out there, and see where the chips fall.”
They all fell the Tartans’ way in an emphatic 72-51 victory that created a three-way tie for first place in the league standings, and pushed Giammattei’s career win total to 250.
Jim Janson led four double-digit scorers with 19 points, Tyler Ackley had 10 rebounds and 10 assists, and Scotia-Glenville used its 2-3 zone defense to effectively neutralize all but Keven Donohue in a payback victory over the Tigers.
Scotia-Glenville, Hudson Falls and Gloversville are all 7-2 in the league with five games remaining. The Tartans, ranked No. 17 in the state among Class A teams, are seeking their first league championship since winning consecutively in 2004 and 2005.
“This is such a crazy league this year,” said Janson, the Tartans’ 6-foot-10, Le Moyne-bound center. “If you don’t play your ‘A’ game, you’ll get beat, and today, we brought it. We moved the ball, we made hustle plays and we made shots.”
Scotia-Glenville (13-2 overall) erased a 27-23 deficit with a 10-2 run to close the opening half, and outscored the Tigers (12-3) in the third period, 18-10. Six quick points to start the fourth quarter, including Nick Alescio’s shot-clock-beating off-balance jumper in the lane, extended the visitors’ advantage to 57-39.
“They made a lot of big shots,” said Hudson Falls coach O.J. Lescault, whose team came in with a No. 9 state Class B ranking. “When Alescio hit that buzzer beater, that pretty much took away all the wind we had left in our sails.”
Hudson Falls had rallied for a 55-54 victory at Scotia-Glenville on Jan. 6.
“That was not our ‘A’ game. That wasn’t even our ‘B’ game. We played our ‘C’ game,” Ackley, a junior guard, said of the first matchup with the Tigers. “We were up by 14 points at one time, and we led by seven with two, three minutes left. In this game we kept pushing forward. We attacked and didn’t give in.”
“We played every second like we were down,” said Tartans senior forward Joe Ferrari, who nailed four three-pointers as part of his 16-point performance. “We played strong the whole game.”
Scotia-Glenville flustered Hudson Falls with its zone defense, and at the other end, with a combination of inside might and timely three-point hoops. The Tartans connected on eight of them, with Ackley and Terell Winney (15 points, seven rebounds) both delivering from deep during the 10-2 second-quarter run, and Ferrari dropping in a pair to kick-start the third quarter.
“I don’t care what level of basketball you’re talking about. The three is such a huge part of the game, and you have to make some,” Giammattei said.
“We knew at the beginning of the week, with away games at Gloversville and Hudson Falls, this was a make or break week for us,” said Giammattei. “If they can respond to that kind of pressure, it bodes well for us as a team.”
Winney 4-6-15, Ackley 3-0-7, Alescio 2-0-5, Bissonette 3-3-10, Ferrari 6-0-16, Janson 9-1-19. Totals: 27-10-72.
Ali 2-0-6, Donohue 10-3-25, Michaud 4-4-13, Raggi 1-0-2, Kelly 1-0-2, Sirowi 1-0-3. Totals: 19-7-51.
Scotia-Glenville 18 15 18 21 — 72
Hudson Falls 15 14 10 12 — 51
Three-point goals: Winney, Ackley, Alescio, Bissonette, Ferrari 4, Ali 2, Donohoe 2, Michaud, Sirowi.