A motivated basketball team that executes at both ends of the floor can turn a game in its direction in a hurry. That was Scotia-Glenville Friday night.
Alex Sausville scored 11 points in a first-quarter blitz, and Andrew Tabbert helped the Tartans extend their lead with a superb two-way performance in a 69-31 Foothills Council win over South Glens Falls.
“South Glens Falls had that huge win against Glens Falls, and we were like, ‘All right. We’re got to be ready,’ ” said Sausville, a junior guard who finished with a season-high 17 points. “They came into the game with a lot of energy, and we took them down quick.”
Travis Ramsey sank a three-pointer on South Glens Falls’ first possession, and Scotia-Glenville answered with 9-0 and 10-0 runs to gain control in the matchup of first- —place teams in the league.
“They had our full attention after Tuesday night. They went to Glens Falls and beat Glens Falls, and that’s not an easy thing to do,”
Scotia-Glenville coach Jim Giammattei said of Bulldogs’ 55-52 victory over last season’s league champions. “Our kids were up for this. You saw that in the first half. They were ready to compete.”
Scotia-Glenville (4-0, 6-0) got nine second-quarter points from Tabbert in extending a 19-6 lead to 43-13 at the half, and the state’s No. 12-ranked Class A team ended up winning by over 30 for the fourth time in league play.
Tabbert filled the stat sheet with 24 points — which equaled his season-high — seven assists, eight rebounds and six steals. The senior guard’s eight third-quarter points helped the reigning Section II Class A champions boost their advantage to 59-24 before the reserves from both sides came on.
“They’re a fine-tuned engine,” said Bulldogs coach Al Vasak. “It was like racing a Ferrari out there. We did what we could to contest them, and we couldn’t stop them. They wore out the net.”
Ball movement was the key to the Tartans’ productive first half against the Bulldogs’ 1-3-1 zone. The hosts dropped in eight three-point baskets during the stretch, four of them from Sausville.
“Our ball movement was so fantastic. You love to see a team play like that,” said Giammattei, after the Tartans beat the Bulldogs for the sixth straight time. “There were six or seven times in the first half alone where a guy had a wide-open look and made another pass to give us an even better look.”
Scotia-Glenville had 14 assists on its 16 first-half field goals, Tabbert leading the way with six of them, and Sausville had three.
“I told coach I was going to hit the gaps and find open shooters,” said Tabbert. “That’s what I did when Alex hit that three.”
Tabbert was referring to Sausville’s long three with four seconds left in the opening quarter. The junior lefty sank a trio of threes in that quarter, and started the second frame with another. Scott Stopera, Tabbert, Joe Cremo and Dom LeMorta also nailed threes in the second quarter, and Tabbert ended his team’s 24-point surge with a steal and layup in the last second.
“I was shocked when I heard that they had beaten Glens Falls. Glens Falls has a bunch of guys back. They’re good,” said Tabbert. “That definitely got us fired up and we came out and played extra hard.”
“We’ve been up at the half in all of our games, but we didn’t put teams away in the third quarter,” said Sausville. “This is the first time we’ve really extended the lead in the second quarter.”
“We didn’t sneak up on them. That’s for sure,” said Vasak, who got a team-best 11 points from Justin Ducey.
South Glens Falls (3-1, 4-2) not only had a difficult time stopping Scotia-Glenville, but also finding holes in its active 3-2 zone defense.
“Our focus was to keep the ball out of the middle and close off shooters,” said Sausville. “They didn’t have many options after that.”
“I thought we did a great job stunting in and out of the passing lanes with high hands,” said Giammattei. “We forced them to hold the ball instead of moving it quickly.”
Cremo had 13 points, nine rebounds and four assists for the Tartans, who improved to 6-0 for the first time since the 2008-09 season when they shared the league title with Gloversville and went on to capture the Section II championship.
SOUTH GLENS FALLS
Lane 2-0-4, Fish 0-1-1, Buser 2-0-5, Ramsey 1-0-3, LeGac 2-0-4, Ducey 4-3-11, VanDixhorn 1-0-3. Totals: 12-4-31.
Francois 1-0-2, Lincoln 0-2-2, Se. Sayles 1-1-3, Tabbert 9-4-24, LeMorta 2-0-5, Sausville 6-1-17, Cremo 5-2-13, Stopera 1-0-3. Totals: 25-10-69.
SGF 6 7 11 7 — 31
S-G 19 24 16 10 — 69
Three-point goals: Buser, Ransey, VanDixhorn, Tabbert 2, LeMorta, Sausville 4, Cremo, Stopera.