Lansingburgh played up-and-down basketball with unbeaten Scotia-Glenville in Thursday night’s Section II Class A semifinal game at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
That approach worked, but for only so long.
“We were playing well offensively. We were doing what we wanted to do,” said Knights coach Gary Pascucci. “Defensively, we were overwhelmed with that shooting percentage.”
Dom LeMorta highlighted a rapid-fire first half with six three-point baskets, and the Tartans gradually pulled away for an 81-41 victory that kept their hopes for a title repeat alive.
“We wanted to come out right from the start,” said LeMorta, who piled up 20 points and six rebounds. “We were really excited about this opportunity, and we were ready to go.”
Scotia-Glenville led after the first quarter, 25-18, and extended its advantage to 49-32 at the break, with LeMorta perfect on his six long distance hoists for 18 of those points, and Joe Cremo adding another 12.
The Tartans got defensive after that, and gave up two third-quarter points to puncuate their second straight sectional rout.
“We watched them play Mohonasen, and we knew they were a serious team,” said Pascucci of the Tartans’ 52-36 win over the Mighty Warriors on Sunday. “They’re one of the outstanding teams in the section.”
Scotia-Glenville (No. 1 seed, 20-0) will make its third straight title-game appearance and fourth since 2009 Saturday night at 7:15 opposite Glens Falls (No. 3, 14-6). The Indians topped Queensbury (No. 7, 11-10) earlier Thursday, 51-40, marking their third victory this season over the Spartans.
“People say it’s hard to beat a team three times,” said Glens Falls coach Tony Hammel. “We had that monkey on our back, and we took care of that.”
Scotia-Glenville will be going for a season sweep of Glens Falls after winning by 24 and 25 points during its sprint to the Foothills Council championship.
“We know what we’re up against,” said Scotia-Glenville coach Jim Giammattei. “It’s a home game for them. We have to be very focused and have that road game mentality.”
Scotia-Glenville was super sharp in the opening half Thursday, shooting 9-for-11 from three-point range and 64.5 percent from the field (20-for-31) overall.
“We were making twos and they were making threes,” said Pascucci. “We wanted to slow them down, and they didn’t let us.”
The Tartans had 17 assists to go with one turnover in building its halftime advantage. Scott Stopera and Andrew Tabbert led the feeding frenzy with seven and five assists, respectively, and Stopera added a pair of first-quarter threes.
“When you have a 17-to-one ratio at any level of basketball, you’re going to score,” said Giammattei.
A layup by Joe Kennedy had Lansingburgh within 33-25 when Scotia-Glenville answered with a 16-7 push to close out the half. A layup by Alex Sausville and a putback basket by Tabbert started the run, LeMorta nailed a pair of threes later on, and Cremo contributed a pair of layups.
“A zebra can’t change its stripes. They went up and down, and we ran with them,” said Giammattei. “When we did get a stop or a rebound, we did a great job of converting.”
Cremo had 20 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, and Tabbert finished with 19 points and six assists. Cremo delivered a three-point play and sank a three-pointer, and Tabbert scored on two drives to start the third quarter as the Tartans’ lead grew to 59-32.
“You have one bad possession and you let that spiral into three or four bad possessions,” said Pascucci. “It started with a little snowball and it got bigger, and we couldn’t recover.”
Adam Burke scored 11 of his 15 points in the first half for the Knights (No. 4, 12-8). His putback made it 15-14 before Scotia-Glenville began to pull away on a three by LeMorta and a drive by Cremo.
“Once we get the ball, we really want to run,” said LeMorta. “On the big court it’s great for us.”
Cam Girard scored on a layup and sank a three-point basket on Glens Falls’ next trip to help the Indians hold off Queensbury.
Queensbury trailed with 2:19 left, 42-38, after Andrew Homkey’s two foul shots. Girard then answered twice and added four free throws in the final 40 seconds as part of his 16-point second half.
“I didn’t shoot well the whole game. Down the stretch coach told me to take us home,” said Girard. “You can’t worry about the shots you missed. It’s always about the next one.”
A back-and-forth first half saw the lead change eight times, with Glens Falls going up, 21-20, on Girard’s buzzer-beating three from the top of the circle. Glens Falls never surrendered the lead in the second half, and extended it to nine late in the third frame, 34-25, when another three by Girard capped a 7-0 run.
“How he goes is how our offense goes,” said Hammel. “He’s obviously one of our key guys.”
The senior guard paced Glens Falls with 22 points, and Mike LaNoir notched nine of his 13 in the first half. Charlie Peltz had 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Spartans.
SCOTIA-GLENVILLE 81, LANSINGBURGH 41
Sutton 2-0-6, Kennedy 1-0-2, Carr 3-1-8, Miller 2-1-5, Burnette 2-1-5, Burke 6-2-15. Totals: 16-5-41.
Stopera 2-0-6, Tabbert 9-0-19, Se. Sayles 1-0-3, Sausville 4-0-9, Cremo 9-1-20, LeMorta 7-0-20, Carroll 1-0-2, Almond 0-2-2. Totals: 33-3-81.
Lansingburgh 18 14 2 7 — 41
Scotia-Glenville 25 24 21 11 — 81
Three-point goals: Sutton 2, Carr, Burke, Stopera 2, Tabbert, Se. Sayles, Sausville, Cremo, LeMorta 6.
GLENS FALLS 51, QUEENSBURY 40
LaNoir 5-3-13, L. Girard 1-3-5, C. Girard 7-4-22, Green 1-2-5, Sax 3-0-6. Totals: 17-12-51.
Kelly 1-0-3, Peltz 5-1-13, Homkey 3-3-9, Troelstra 1-0-2, Daley 1-0-2, O’Leary 3-5-11. Totals: 14-9-40.
Glens Falls 10 11 13 17 — 51
Queensbury 12 8 7 13 — 40
Three-point goals: C. Girard 4, Green, Kelly, Peltz 2.