Regan Gatta knew this season would be a little different for her Scotia-Glenville girls’ basketball team.
She just didn’t know how different until November.
As if graduating three starters from a team that reached the Class A title game wasn’t enough, the Lady Tartans lost two key returning players to knee injuries before the season began.
But Scotia still has three-time Foothills Council MVP Cassie Broadhead, and two games into the season, the Brigham Young University-bound senior has led her inexperienced teammates to a pair of wins.
Broadhead took over the fourth quarter of Monday’s league opener at Johnstown, scoring 14 of her team’s 18 points — including a 12-for-12 effort from the free-throw line — as Scotia came from behind to beat the Lady Bills, 43-36.
“Cassie has really embraced the leadership role,” said Gatta. “Right now, we don’t have another proven scorer, and other teams know that.”
Senior Rachael Cox, who was expected to be a contributor under the basket, was injured in the Class A soccer final in early November. Senior point guard Angie DiJohn was lost to a knee injury in a preseason scrimmage.
“It’s going to make things that much harder,” said Broadhead. “Angie and Rachael were two players we were counting on, and now they’re injured. But we have some good young players, and it’s still early in the season.”
With Broadhead looking to get her teammates involved, the Lady Tartans took a 13-6 lead after one quarter. Johnstown cut into the lead by two points at the half, and took a 28-25 lead into the final quarter.
But the Lady Bills got themselves into foul trouble, forcing coach Tim Derwin to move players in and out of the game, and giving Broadhead what amounted to free points.
“We recovered after the first period, but what hurt us was getting into foul touble that early in the second half,” said Derwin. “You know Cassie is going to have the ball in her hands, and we let her get to the line.”
Broadhead had eight baskets, but Hope Cerasulo did a good job of staying in her face.
“I thought Hope did a good job on defense,” said Derwin. “She contested the shots, but Cassie is such a good shooter, she’s able to elevate and get her shot off.”
“She knows she’s going to get a lot of attention,” said Gatta, who started two seniors, a pair of juniors and a sophomore. “And with Angie out, she’s going to have to help with other things, like bringing the ball up.”
Broadhead said she and her teammates also know they have to play good defense to be able to win games.
“That’s going to be important,” Broadhead said. “We need to play defense, and not turn the ball over.”
Courtney Cirillo — who led Johnstown with 12 points — scored on a drive after Broadhead made a pair of free throws that opened the second-half scoring.
That opened a 9-0 Johnstown run that gave the hosts a 23-21 lead when Brianne O’Rourke scored on a rebound with 2:16 left in the third.
Katelyn Dwyer made two foul shots for Scotia, Cerasulo answered with a three-point play, Broadhead canned a jumper and Cirillo beat the buzzer with a shot in the lane to give the hosts a 28-25 lead heading into the final quarter.
“We’ve got a bunch of good athletes who play hard,” said Derwin. “They got back and got the lead. But Cassie is a special player, and no matter how you draw it up defensively, she can take a game over.”
Johnstown led by five, 34-29, with 5:30 to play, but managed just a pair of free throws from Cerasulo the rest of the way.
Broadhead put Scotia ahead to stay by hitting both free throws when she was fouled driving to the basket with 2:17 to play. After a Johnstown miss, Broadhead looked upcourt and found Allison Casey ahead of the field for a layup and a 39-36 Scotia lead.
Johnstown missed a three-pointer with 30 seconds to play, and Broadhead closed things by going 4-for-4 from the line.
“It wasn’t great defense, but the girls are learning,” said Gatta, whose team opened with a one-point win at state Class C champion Hoosic Valley a week ago, with Broadhead hitting the winning shot. “None of them had a lot of playing time last year. They’re learning as they go.”
Derwin feels his club — back in Class B after reaching the Class A quarterfinals last winter — will be a factor, both in the league and postseason play.
“I don’ think anyone is going to go unbeaten or 11-1 in the league this year,” he said. “Right now, we’re missing one of our best shooters [Kelsi Barnholt]. We just played a good game [a four-point loss] against Tamarac, which should be one of the better Class B teams.
“And we seem to have a way of getting better as the season goes along.”
Nate Hatalsky scored 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to spark Mechanicville over Cambridge, 72-47, in a boys’ non-league game.
Sal Cimino and Seth Dunn contributed 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the 3-1 Red Raiders.
In a Central Hudson Valley League game, Heatly got 19 points from Austin Horton and 10 from Nate Miller in a 49-38 win over Waterford-Halfmoon.
Josh Horton tossed in 15 points, and Troy Anderson added 12 for the Fordians.
Nolan Lewis tossed in 18 points as Germantown pulled away from Doane Stuart, 60-39, in another CHVL game.
In a girls’ Patroon Conference game, Alexis McComb finished with 15 points, and Ali Schermerhorn added a triple-double of 11 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocked shots to help Taconic Hills bounce Chatham, 46-24.
In a girls’ non-league game, Whitehall edged Saratoga Central Catholic, 40-37, behind 11 points each from Ashley Davis and Brittany Putori.
Natalie Pikus scored 14 for the Saints.
Broadhead 8-12-30, Dwyer 1-2-4, Casey 1-1-3, Carroll 2-0-4, Estes 0-2-2. Totals: 12-17-43.
Cirillo 6-0-12, Cerasulo 2-4-8, Heroth 3-2-8, O’Rourke 2-0-4, Anagnostopulos 2-0-4. Totals: 15-6-36.
Scotia-Glenville 13 6 6 18 — 43
Johnstown 6 8 14 8 — 36
Three-point goals: Broadhead 2.
TACONIC HILLS 46, CHATHAM 24
Keeler 3-0-6, Summer 2-3-7, Rugen 1-1-3, Minahan 2-0-4, Gregg 1-0-2, Sweet 1-0-2. Totals: 10-14-24.
Barbato 1-1-3, Bosko 2-0-4, Clapper 1-1-3, McComb 4-4-15, Schermerhorn 5-1-11, Link 3-2-8, Gambacorta 1-0-2. Totals: 17-9-46.
Chatham 5 2 8 9 — 24
Taconic Hills 13 7 14 12 — 46
Three-point goals: McComb 3.
WHITEHALL 40, SARATOGA CENTRAL CATHOLIC 37
Christdian 3-0-6, Lavin 4-1-9, Baldwin 1-0-3, Davis 5-0-11, Putori 5-1-11 Totals: 18-2-40.
SARATOGA CENTRAL CATHOLIC
Mensler 2-0-4, Odrybko 3-2-8, Pikus 7-0-14, Fish 3-0-6, Ethier 0-1-1, Londolfo 2-0-4. Totals: 17-3-37.
Whitehall 5 15 12 8 — 40
Saratoga Catholic 7 14 8 8 — 37
Three-point goals: Baldwin, Davis.
MECHANICVILLE 72, CAMBRIDGE 47
Rowland 2-0-4, Mosso 2-0-6, Jeskie 2-0-4, English 2-1-6, Parmenter 7-1-18, McNeil 3-2-8, Harris 0-1-1. Totals: 18-5-47.
A. Dunn 2-0-5, Hatalsky 3-9-15, S. Dunn 5-0-10, Cannizzo 4-1-9, Cimino 5-0-12, Dumas 3-3-9, K. Dunn 1-0-2, Vermilyea 1-2-5, Robens 1-1-3, Cervini 1-0-2. Totals:
Cambridge 11 9 10 17 — 47
Mechanicville 19 13 24 16 — 72
Three-point goals: Mosso 2, English, A. Dunn, Cimino 2.
HEATLY 49, WATERFORD-HALFMOON 38
Anderson 5-0-12, Orton 6-2-15, Jones 4-0-8, Mattin 0-0-0, Senecal 0-0-0. Totals: 16-3-38.
Horton 6-5-19, DeCianni 1-1-3, Greene 1-0-2, Chapman 2-3-7, Sullivan 3-2-8, Miller 4-0-10. Totals: 17-11-49.
Waterford 5 12 10 11 — 38
Heatly 3 19 20 7 — 49
Three-point goals: Anderson 2, Orton, Horton 2, Miller 2.
GERMANTOWN 60, DOANE STUART 39
Marris 2-3-7, Lewis 7-3-18, Hines 1-1-3 Fuchs 6-0-14, Rathjen 1-2-5, Disher 0-4-4, Schermerhorn 2-0-4. Totals: 19-13-60.
Demiroglu 1-1-3, Ganz 2-0-6, Schettini 4-0-8, Speights 3-7-13, Siy 2-2-6, Cole 1-1-3. Totals: 13-11-39.
Germantown 4 20 15 2 — 60
Doane Stuart 14 12 8 5 — 39
Three-point goals: Lewis, Fuchs 2 Rathjen, Ganz 2.