Play hard from beginning to end — that’s the Scotia-Glenville way.
“Regardless of what’s happening, we approach it like it’s a 0-0 game,” Tartans senior Andrew Tabbert said after Thursday night’s 74-49 homecourt win over Glens Falls. “That’s our mindset all the time. ‘Let’s get a stop and let’s get a good shot.’ ”
Scotia-Glenville did that on a continuous basis, and with another superb performance at both ends of the floor clinched its third Foothills Council basketball championship in five years.
Joe Cremo scored eight of his 20 points in a 26-7 first-quarter blitz that set the tone, while Tabbert and Dom LeMorta both notched 17 points and Alex Sausville added 11 for the state’s No. 7-ranked Class A team.
“We were trying to clinch the Foothills title, and we knew they were going to try to stop us from doing it,” said LeMorta, whose offensive output included five three-point baskets. “We had to want it more.”
The Tartans (13-0, 17-0) want to complete a perfect league campaign, and can do so with another triumph Monday against Queensbury. Glens Falls ran the league table last season.
“Our focus is on Monday,” said LeMorta, a junior forward. “That’s our first priority, then we’ll get ready for the sectionals. That’s the big stage.”
Scotia-Glenville’s performance Thursday was a mix of accurate shooting, ball sharing and strong zone defense against a Glens Falls (10-3, 11-6) team that likes to shoot the threes.
“What we wanted to do is make them battle for every basket. That’s a team that can chain smoke with the threes and pile up points fast,” said Scotia-Glenville coach Jim Giammattei. “We made them make a lot of passes to get those threes.”
The Tartans picked off 12 passes, with Tabbert collecting five steals and Scott Stopera getting two, all of those coming in the first half when the hosts opened up a 46-18 advantage.
Tabbert turned a steal into a layup late in the first quarter and again early in the second. Stopera did the same to help the Tartans grab a quick 8-1 lead, and Cremo did so in the third quarter immediately after LeMorta nailed one of his threes.
“That’s what we try to do,” said Giammattei. “Defend, defend, defend, and turn it into offense.”
Scotia-Glenville generated points from the field in every way in building its 26-7 first-quarter advantage, from jumpers to layups to putbacks. LeMorta and Stopera both had five points in the run, Sausville had four points and three of his four assists, and Cremo took down four of his 11 rebounds as part of the burst.
“We focused a lot this week on ball movement. We prepared well. We knew we had to move the ball against them,” said LeMorta. “We had good looks, and guys were making shots.”
Scotia-Glenville made its first five shots to start the contest, a string that was capped by LeMorta’s initial three-pointer that made it 11-3. He sank another in the second quarter and connected on three of them in the third quarter to equal his season high for long-range baskets.
LeMorta was practicing his shot after the game, after his teammates had headed to the locker room.
“If anyone is wondering why Dom LeMorta can shoot the ball, that’s it,” Giammattei said as he motioned toward the 6-foot-1 first-year varsity player. “Can you believe that?”
“He’s getting better all the time,” Tabbert said of LeMorta, who has turned in three straight double-digit outings and five in all. “You’re going to be hearing a lot about him.”
Tabbert scored 10 second-quarter points, with his three-point play kick-starting a 9-2 run that closed out the half. The Tartans took a
68-37 lead into the final period.
“We had an 11-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in the first half,” said Giammattei. “Do that and you can put up those kind of points.”
Scotia-Glenville’s closest margin of victory was 12 points in a 70-58 non-league win over Cohoes. Its ledger also includes a 70-46 win at Glens Falls, which Scotia-Glenville began with a 19-7 run.
Sam Sax paced Glens Falls with 18 points, Jordan Green and Cam Girard both netted eight, and Mike LaNoir had six points and eight rebounds. Girard reached 1,000 career points with 15 in Monday’s 73-29 win over Hudson Falls.
Dailey 1-0-2, T. Sax 1-0-3, LaNoir 2-2-6, L. Girard 1-0-3, C. Girard 3-0-8, Green 3-0-8, S. Sax 8-2-18, White 0-1-1. Totals: 19-5-49.
Carroll 0-2-2, Lincoln 1-0-2, Tabbert 5-7-17, LeMorta 6-0-17, Sausville 5-0-11, Cremo 8-3-20, Stopera 2-0-5. Totals: 27-12-74.
Glens Falls 7 11 19 12 — 49
Scotia-Glenville 26 20 22 6 — 74.
Three-point goals: T. Sax, L. Girard, C. Girard 2, Green 2, LeMorta 5, Sausville, Cremo, Stopera.