Extend the zone, extend the streak.
Scotia-Glenville did both of those things at the expense of longtime rival Gloversville Tuesday night in a Foothills Council basketball game.
The Tartans pinned down the Dragons’ perimeter shooters with an active zone defense, and got double-digit scoring from three of their own outside shooters in a 58-49 payback win on their home court.
“This was a big win for us. We’re trying to have a comeback season. We’re trying to win out the rest of the season,” said Scotia-Glenville senior forward Chris Zanta, who collected 15 points and nine rebounds. “We lost some close games, and we’re hoping to make up for those.”
The Tartans made up for one of them with their fourth straight victory, but first triumph this season against a Foothills Council upper-tier team.
“This was a quality win against a quality opponent,” said Tartans coach Jim Giammattei, whose squad knocked off South Glens Falls, Hudson Falls and Broadalbin-Perth before turning the tables on Gloversville. “This is a step in the right direction.”
Gloversville (7-3, 8-6) had beaten Scotia-Glenville (7-3, 11-3) just before Christmas in overtime, 59-54, when Cody Jacobson poured in 23 points, and Jake McCloskey netted 20. The senior guards were held to a combined 13 points in the rematch.
“Teams know we have two guards that can knock down shots if they get open looks,” said Gloversville coach Mark LeFever. “They [Scotia-Glenville] extended very well.”
“We put a major emphasis on making every shot from McCloskey and Jacobson a battle,” said Giammattei. “We contested every shot but one.”
Giammattei was referring to a three-point bomb McCloskey drained with 4:15 left that made it 52-43.
“We prepared all week. Coach didn’t really have to say too much,” said Scotia-Glenville senior guard Matt Renko, who had seven points and five assists and defended up top with Andrew Tabbert and Alex Sausville. “We knew what we had to do, and we executed.”
Jacobson nailed seven threes and McCloskey had four of them in the first game on Dec. 21. when Gloversville ended Scotia-Glenville’s 19-game regular season and 14-game league winning streaks.
“Their zone gives everyone fits,” said LeFever. “We tried different things. We tried to exploit the high post. Our kids kept fighting.”
“It was a lot different than the first game,” said Zanta. “The top guys did a great job of pressuring them.”
Scotia-Glenville picked up 15 steals as part of its defensive effort, with freshman forward Joe Cremo totaling four to go with his 13 points and 15 rebounds. Tabbert had three steals to go with eight points, four assists and six rebounds.
“We were very active in the passing lanes and out of the passing lanes. We had energy. It was a great, great, great defensive effort,” said Giammattei. “The key to good defense is keeping your hands and feet moving.”
Scotia-Glenville opened the contest with a 22-8 first-quarter run in which Zanta scored nine points and Renko put in six to go with a trio of assists. The quarter ended with a 14-2 spurt by the hosts that included a pair of three-pointers from Renko and Zanta’s buzzer-beating layup off a feed from Cremo.
“The first four minutes of the game and the first four minutes of the third quarter are where you get momentum,” said Renko.
“We had good looks and knocked them down. Then we went into a little lull and didn’t shoot it so well after the first quarter, but we toughened up our defense,” said Giammattei. “If we were going to shoot miserable, they were going to shoot miserable.”
Casey Norton had 11 points, which included three threes, for Scotia. Norton made a pair of threes in the second quarter, both of them coming immediately after Gloversville got within eight, and opened the third frame with a deep ball to extend the Tartans’ advantage to 37-24.
Scotia-Glenville led by as many as 15 early in the final period, 49-34, when Tabbert scored on a layup.
Hunter Goodwin scored 10 points for the Dragons, Cody Webber had eight, and McCloskey finished with seven and four assists. Jacobson and Lucas Beekman both added six points, with Beekman contributing seven rebounds an four assists in the Dragons’ third consecutive setback.
“We had a fire burning after the last game with them,” said Renko. “We wanted it bad.”
McCloskey 2-2-7, Palmer 1-0-2, Beekman 2-2-6, Jacobson 2-2-6, Lopez 2-0-4, Goodwin 4-2-10, Z. Brown 1-0-2, Curtis 2-0-4, Webber 4-0-8. Totals: 20-8-49.
Cremo 2-9-13, Sausville 1-2-4, Tabbert 3-2-8, Norton 4-0-11, Renko 2-1-7, Zanta 6-1-15. Totals: 18-15-58.
Gloversville 8 16 10 15 — 49
Scotia-Glenville 22 12 13 11 — 58
Three-point goals: McCloskey, Norton 3, Renko 2, Zanta 2.