Joe Cremo remembers how quickly last year’s Class A regional championship game got away from Scotia-Glenville.
“I think we were down by six at the half, and then we had a bad third quarter. Their big guys went off, and we can’t let that happen again,” the Tartans sophomore forward said of a 58-45 loss to Jamesville-DeWitt. “The coaches gave us a great game plan. Now, we have to execute it.”
The Tartans will be facing more big guys tonight from Bishop Ludden, guys even bigger than the ones from Massena that they handled in Wednesday’s regional semifinal round.
“Same game plan against a better, stronger and faster opponet,” said Scotia-Glenville coach Jim Giammattei, eyeing tonight’s game at 8 at Onondaga Community College, just outside of Syracuse. “We’ve got to defend the post, rebound, hit open shots. I know we’ll share the ball and do the other things.”
The Tartans (22-0) know their game plan is sound, and, if performed to maximum efficiency, will work against a Bishop Ludden (Section III, 19-2) team that won a state Class B title last March at Watervliet’s expense.
“There’s not a kid in this gym that is saying, ‘They’re the No. 3-ranked team in the state and we don’t have a chance,’ ” said Giammattei. “With no disrespect to Bishop Ludden, we feel we can win. We’re not just hoping. We believe.”
Why wouldn’t they, after the success they encountered in Wednesday’s 89-46 blitz of Massena at Saratoga Springs High School. The Tartans shot 63.5 percent from the field and got double-digit scoring from four players led by Cremo with 28, outrebounded the taller Red Raiders and forced 21 turnovers to their seven.
Senior guard Andrew Tabbert had a triple-double in the Tartans’ first state tournament win with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, while junior forward Dom LeMorta added 14 points and six boards.
“It was good preparation,” said Scotia-Glenville junior Alex Sausville, who had 14 points and five rebounds Wednesday. “It was good to face big guys.”
“It definitely helped to play them,” said Cremo. “Massena and Bishop Ludden have the same game plan. They want to run a lot of high-low stuff. We can’t let them get it inside.”
That will be paramount in Scotia-Glenville’s bid to make the state final four after last year’s regional setback, and another one against Jamesville-DeWitt in 2009.
“We can’t pass any better or take more quality shots than we did the other night. The number of shots we took that were fives, on a scale of one to five, was so high,” said Giammattei. “What we can do is defend the post better. The good thing is we had a couple more days to work on it.”
Bishop Ludden has standout guards Ben Hackett and Kyle Hawk to go with a frontline cast that includes 6-foot-6 Dan Kaigler and 6-5 sophomores Jack Rauch and Zach Walser. Hackett scored 14 points when Bishop Ludden beat New Hartford for the Section III title, 57-44, while Hawk netted 12, Kaigler had nine and the two 10th-graders combined for 14.
“The biggest key for us is to get defensive rebounds. We can’t allow second shots,” said Sausville. “If we do everything else, the things we’re capable of, we’re good enough to beat them.”
“We played them in AAU ball,” said LeMorta, who’ll join with
Cremo on the back of the Tartans’ 3-2 zone defense. “They’re big inside. We’ve got to box out.”
Scotia-Glenville continually ripped down defensive rebounds, fired quick outlet passes and ran past Massena. In the end, the state’s No. 5-ranked team had its second postseason game with over 80 points.
“We’ve got to rebound and sprint,” said Cremo. “We want to get out in the open court. If we can do that, I like our chances.”
Glens Falls was the last Section II Class A team to win a regional championship in 2007 behind the exploits of Jimmer Fredette. The Indians topped Peru and New Hartford that year.
“We’re just excited. This is an opportunity very few teams are getting,” said Sausville, whose dad, Tartans assistant Mark Sausville, guided Schenectady to regional and state titles in 2001. “To play in this game is something every player dreams about.”
“When we lost to DeWitt, it gave us great motivation. We really want to get this one,” said Cremo, the Section II Class A most valuable player and Scotia-Glenville’s leading scorer (21.2 ppg). “We’ve really got to fight for this.”
four more in finals
Troy (19-3) will take on Henninger (Section III, 18-3) in a Class AA regional final today at 2 at Onondaga Community College. On a historical note, Troy’s last regional appearance came in 2002 and ended in a loss to Henninger.
Watervliet (15-8) and Ogdensburg Free Academy (Section X, 21-1) meet in a Class B regional
final today at 3:30 at SUNY-Potsdam. Lake George (21-2) goes against AuSable Valley (Section VII, 14-4) today at 3:30 in a Class C regional title game at SUNY-Plattsburgh. Argyle (21-0) plays Class D foe Madrid-Waddington (Section X, 17-7) today at 4 at Hudson Falls.
GIRLS GAMES SET
Four of the five Section II girls’ champions will be on the road
today, one win away from a spot in next weekend’s public school state semifinals at Hudson Valley CC.
Albany, led by Big 10 Player of the Year and New York State Miss Basketball finalist Emia Willingham-Hurst, plays Section III winner Cicero-North Syracuse at 12:45 at Onondaga CC. The 20-1 Falcons beat Bethlehem for the Section II title five days ago.
Class A winner Troy is at SUNY-Potsdam for a noon game against Section X winner Massena. The 17-5 Lady Flying Horses beat Jamesville-DeWitt in their regional semi on Tuesday,
Watervliet, 21-2, which eliminated Beekmantown of Section VII in a Wednesday Class B regional semi, plays Salmon River of Section X in the second game of the double-header in Potsdam.
Hoosic Valley (20-3) plays at noon at SUNY-Plattsburgh against AuSable Valley in the Class C regional final after beating Canton on Tuesday.
Class D champ Fort Edward has the only home regional final, getting Hammond of Section X at noon at SUNY-Adirondack in Queensbury.