A collective effort helped Guilderland keep its basketball season alive Tuesday night.
“New season. Every team is zero-zero. We knew it was one loss and we’re done,” Dutchmen junior center Marc DuMoulin said after a 65-55 Section II Class AA first-round win over Schenectady. “We knew we had to play as a team if we were going to get by these guys.”
The Dutchmen’s spread-the-wealth approach was never more evident than in a 13-2, third-quarter run that swung momentum their way for good. Three players combined for the points, including DuMoulin, whose scoop shot capped it and gave the hosts a 47-34 advantage.
Freshman Andrew Platek led Guilderland with 17 points, while DuMoulin and Brian Crupi both netted 15, and Vin Simeone added 10.
“We don’t have a star, a guy who is going to score 28 points,” said DuMoulin. “We all had to perform, and hit our shots.”
Guilderland (Suburban Council No. 4 seed, 13-6) executed when it mattered most and hustled from start to finish, and in the end had made more significant plays than Schenectady (Big 10 No. 5, 9-10).
“Their energy level was 10 times better than us,” said Schenectady coach Eric Loudis. “It came down to who wanted it more. We didn’t come to play, and that’s what happens.”
Guilderland never trailed in the second half, after putting together a 9-2 spurt to end it in building a 27-23 lead.
“We’ve told our guys all year that we have to play hard and fast. We have to do it better than the other team,” said Guilderland coach Ron Osinski. “Tonight, we had to double that.”
The 6-foot-4 DuMoulin made an impact throughout the contest, scoring six of his 15 points in 13-2 spurt while collecting six rebounds. The 11th-grader also drew two charging calls, blocked two shots and pestered 6-6 Patriots center Darius Macon.
Macon scored 15 points, but only seven in the second half to go with three rebounds, three steals and five blocked shots.
“He’s 6-foot-6. What can you do?” said DuMoulin. “We had to play him tough, and keep him off the boards. We did the best we could.”
Macon threw down a two-handed slam for Schenectady’s only points in the key third-quarter Dutchmen run that enabled them to pull away from a 34-32 lead. Simeone started it with a three-pointer and DuMoulin scored down low, and after Macon’s jam, DuMoulin delivered inside again and Crupi sank a short jumper. Crupi’s layup and DuMoulin’s difficult scoop basket made it 47-34.
“We were making the extra pass,” DuMoulin said of the key run. “At the other end, we were playing well on defense.”
Simeone had a steal and then an assist on Crupi’s layup, and DuMoulin had a blocked shot just before his scoop gave the Dutchmen their 13-point advantage late in the third frame.
“That comes with intensity. When we play hard, we make plays of that manner,” said Osinski. “We get the deflections and the steals and the offensive rebounds.”
Towan Hamlin beat the buzzer with a three-pointer to get Schenectady within 47-37 at the end the third quarter. A putback basket by Hamlin and a layup by Randall Symes had the Pats trailing, 54-47, before Crupi hit a short jumper and Platek nailed a three-pointer with 2:25 left.
“We had a seven-point lead, and we needed that extra edge,” said Platek, who added seven rebounds and two blocked shots. “I was open. I took it and it felt great.”
Platek scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half. His lone first-half basket was a late three that gave the hosts their 27-23 edge at the break.
“He had a huge second half,” Osinski said of his freshman guard. “In the first half, I think he had the jitters, being his first sectional game. I think we all did.”
Connor Burg had eight points and 10 rebounds for Guilderland, while Crupi contributed six assists, and Simeone had five assists and three steals.
“We’re all great friends off the court, and that helps us on the court,” said Platek. “We have each other’s backs.”
Hamlin scored 12 points for the Pats, Clarence Stanford netted nine, and Cody Shaffer piled up 12 assists. Schenectady and Guilderland last met in a 2010 first-round game won by the Pats, 57-49.
Guilderland meets four-time defending Class AA champion Christian Brothers Academy (Big 10 No. 1, 17-2) Saturday at 7:30 in the last of the four quarterfinal games at Hudson Valley Community College. The Brothers beat Ballston Spa (SC No. 8, 8-12) Tuesday night, 65-49.
Macon 7-0-15, Symes 3-0-6, Shafer 1-0-2, Wheelings 3-0-6, Moses 1-0-2, Stanford 3-0-9, Hamlin 5-1-12, Chandler 1-1-3. Totals: 24-2-55.
Burg 3-0-8, Crupi 6-2-15, DuMoulin
7-1-15, Platek 5-4-17, V. Simeone 3-3-10. Totals: 24-10-65.
Schenectady 11 12 14 18 — 55
Guilderland 11 16 20 18 — 65
Three-point goals: Macon, Stanford 3, Hamlin, Burg 2, Crupi, Platek 3, V. Simeone.