Lanes were quickly filled time and time again on fast breaks. In the set offense, Scotia-Glenville passed and passed until it found the open man, often in three-point territory. Defense created those opportunities.
It was typical Tartan basketball.
“The kids know they have to play tremendously hard for me. They have to compete on defense and share the ball to fit in here,” Scotia-Glenville coach Jim Giammattei said. “That’s us. That’s our identity.”
The Tartans unveiled a new-look lineup Tuesday night at their season-opening tournament, yet showed all of those traits of teams past in an 83-36 victory over Schalmont.
Six varsity veterans mixed effectively with six newcomers in a game that saw the reigning Section II Class A champions rattle off 12 unanswered points early and gradually pull away.
“We’re adding a group of young kids to a group that won a section championship. We’re fusing them together,” Giammattei said. “The younger kids know what’s expected, and to date, they’re meeting those expectations.”
Giammattei wore a big grin following the contest, and not so much because of the points his Tartans produced, but rather because of the points they did not allow. Schalmont managed just 28 through three quarters, and had only one basket and one foul shot to show for its efforts in the third stanza.
The three athletes who were the most productive of offense for the hosts were the ones who played the most during last winter’s 17-5 run, led by sophomore Joe Cremo with 23 points, senior Adam Tabbert with 12 and junior Alex Sausville with 12.
“I’m most pleased with the collective responsibility of defending as a team,” Giammattei said. “We got full out maximum effort on every possession.”
“One of biggest things about tonight was our intensity,” said Tabbert, who, from the top middle of the Tartans’ 3-2 zone, had four of their 15 steals. “Everyone had their hands up, and we were trapping, getting the ball and going with it.”
That scenario was often repeated as Scotia-Glenville turned stops into points. At one stretch in the second quarter, the Tartans went on a 9-0 spurt, and in the third period, they put together 11-0 and 12-0 flurries.
“We were active in our zone. You have to be,” said Cremo, who collected 12 rebounds. “We were getting rebounds, running the lanes and guys were hitting shots when they were open.”
Dom LaMorta scored nine points on 3-for-4 shooting from three-point range in his first varsity start. The junior nailed a pair of threes in the 12-0 first-quarter run that made it 16-3, and Cremo added four points on a putback and a layup.
Scotia-Glenville opened up a 37-18 advantage with its 9-0 second-quarter push in which Sausville sank one his team’s eight threes, Cremo and Tabbert delivered layups, and new starter James Lincoln scored on a putback.
An 11-0 run to start the third quarter made it 50-25, with Cremo opening the spree on two putbacks sandwiched around a layup.
“Our defense gives us a chance to get out and go. We like to play that way. Get out and get up,” said Giammattei. “It’s awfully difficult to run as fast as the ball is moving.”
“I thought we moved the ball well,” said Cremo. “We were hitting the right spots so guys could make the right plays.”
Scotia-Glenville turned the ball over 12 times; Schalmont 24 times.
“We need to reduce our turnovers and keep the ball moving,” said Giammattei. “They will be a very tough team to beat if they do that. This can be a championship team, no question.”
With Tuesday’s opening round win, the Tartans are halfway to the first of what they hope are several titles. They’ll take on Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk in the second round of the tournament next Tuesday.
“Everyone wants to win on this team. The desire is more than any team I’ve been on,” said Tabbert, who had 10 rebounds and six assists. “Even in scrimmages if things aren’t going so well, guys on this team will get mad, and that’s not such a bad thing.”
Lucas Curtin and Devin Murphy scored eight and seven points for Schalmont, respectively, and Dominic Caputo had five points, seven rebounds and six steals.
David Warnken scored 12 of his 19 points in the first half, and Austin Babcock and Desmond Williams both added eight points, as Ravena-Coeymans-Sekirk beat Hudson Falls, 68-41.
The Indians raced to a 36-15 halftime lead behind Warnken. Wyatt Gorham paced the Tigers with 12 points, and Christian Henkel netted 10.
Caputo 1-3-5, Coons 1-2-5, Daversa 2-0-4, Vassi 1-0-3, Curtin 3-0-8, Murphy 3-0-7, Smith 0-1-1, O’Dell 1-1-3. Totals: 12-7-36.
Swider 2-1-5, Carroll 2-0-4, Francois 1-0-2, Lincoln 1-0-2, Se. Sayles 3-0-7, Tabbert 5-2-12, LaMorta 3-0-9, Sausville 5-0-12, Sc. Sayles 1-0-3, Cremo 10-2-23, Palleschi 2-0-4. Totals: 35-5-83.
Schalmont 10 15 3 8 — 36
Scotia-Glenville 20 19 26 18 — 83
Three-point goals: Coons, Vassi, Curtin 2, Murphy, Se. Sayles, LaMorta 3, Sausville 2, Sc. Sayles, Cremo.