Scotia-Glenville coach Jim Giammattei was quick to accept an invitation to the Arthur Hilliard Memorial Basketball Tournament and get two games against Class AA competition.
His Tartans, the two-time defending Section II Class A champs, open with Newburgh Free Academy Friday at Schenectady’s Pat Riley Sports Center.
“It’s a game we needed. When you play guys that are bigger, faster and stronger, you get a real gauge,” said Giammattei. “Any weaknesses we have are going to be exposed. At that point, you work on them.”
The Goldbacks (Section IX, 4-0) were ranked No. 16 in the season’s first state Class AA poll. Their biggest win came against Middletown, 62-59, and they followed that up with Friday’s 79-64 victory over Monroe-Woodbury.
The Goldbacks are led by 6-foot-6 Ja’Kwan Jones, who had 18 points and 14 rebounds against Middletown, and point guard Don Chevelle Nugent, who piled up 32 points against Monroe-Woodbury. Elijah Williams and Donovan Fields both added 13 points in Friday’s win.
“They play beast after beast after beast. They’re everything they’re advertised,” said Giammattei. “It’s a nice step up for us.”
While Scotia-Glenville (5-0) is using the tournament to learn and grow, it wants to win, too. The Tartans have prevailed in 28 consecutive regular-season games, and in their last two- they’ve overwhelmed Broadalbin-Perth, 92-54, and Hudson Falls, 94-44.
Despite those wins and a No. 4 state ranking, the Tartans head to the Hilliard as an underdog.
“We’ve played teams like them [NFA] at the Rumble in the Bronx,” Giammattei said. “We feel we can be competitive. There’s going to be a scoreboard there, and we’re going to try to put more points on our side of it.”
Scotia-Glenville has scored over 70 in every game, and is averaging just over nine three-point baskets per outing. Joe Cremo is averaging just over 26 points, while Alex Sausville is scoring 16 and Dom LeMorta 10 per contest.
Cremo delivered 26 points against Hudson Falls, Sausville netted 22, and Scott Stopera had 10 assists with one turnover. Stopera had 15 assists in the Broadalbin-Perth win.
“It’s all about the ball movement. It’s been the season for giving,” said Giammattei. “I like to see unselfish play, and that’s what they’re doing.”
Schenectady (3-3) and Columbia (3-2) meet in Friday’s second game.
Schenectady claimed 10 straight Hilliard championships through 2005, and took its last title in 2007.
Dave Guest, Robert Callahan, Mark Massaroni, Randy Strijek and Dawn Dagostino will be inducted into the Mohonasen Athletic Hall of Fame Thursday.
The group will be honored at a ceremony starting at 4:30 at Mohonasen Middle School, and will be recognized later that evening at the Kirvin Cup Tournament at halftime of the Mohonasen-Schalmont game. Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons meets Lansingburgh in the first game.
Guest is one of four Hall of Fame members with ties to Draper High School. He played baseball, football and basketball, earning All-County honors for his hardcourt exploits in 1955. He also served as the school’s athletic director and assistant principal, and his 10-year run as Draper’s basketball coach included Section II title-winning teams in 1968 and 1973. Guest later engineered a turnaround with the Schalmont basketball team.
Callahan was a three-sport star with the Vikings, and in 1965 was named the Rotterdam Elks football Player of the Year and a Gazette and Union Star first-teamer after leading Schenectady County in scoring with a record-tying 102 points. He helped Draper win a sectional basketball title later in his senior year, and was the 1966 Rotterdam Athlete of the Year.
Massaroni earned Rotterdam Elks football Player of the Year and Rotterdam football Athlete of the Year awards in 1972 and 1973, and was additionally tabbed the Gazette’s first-team quarterback as a senior. He played basketball and baseball, as well, and started for the Siena College baseball team for four years.
Strijek was a four-time all-conference baseball player, and as a senior in 1983 earned second-team All-America status after leading Draper to its second consecutive Section II and regional championship. He continued his baseball career at Western Kentucky and had a five-year minor league run with the Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Giants. Strijek also played basketball at Draper, and averaged over 20 points as a senior when he was named all-conference for the third time.
Dagostino was awarded time and time again for her excellence in softball. She batted .368 in her four varsity seasons and sparked Mohonasen to Section II and regional titles in 1995 and 1996. Her career continued at Siena, where she was a four-year starter at second base. The soccer and basketball letter-winner placed first in the 1996 and 1997 Gazette Foul Shooting Contest.
WHAT THEY’RE DOING
Saratoga Springs High School graduate Adhem Elsawi started at right tackle for East Carolina Monday in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl in Florida and helped the Pirates roll to a 37-30 win.
Elsawi was a three-year standout with the Blue Streaks, and earned a spot on the Gazette All-Area first team and New York third team (Class AA) as a senior. He played a year at Campbell in 2009 before moving to East Carolina.
Lake George junior Joel Wincowski tied the Section II season high for points in a basketball game Friday with 47 in a 79-13 win over Bolton.
Wincowski equaled the 47 that Tad Jones of Hartford had against Bolton earlier this month in a 79-31 win. Wincowski set a school record with eight three-point baskets on 11 attempts. He nailed seven threes in last season’s state Class C final against Pine Plains, and Phil Lyons hit seven threes for Lake George in 1988 and 1990.
Also last week, Chelsea Stevens of Hoosick Falls set a school record with eight threes in a 55-48 win over Greenwich, and Mike Mann of Mekeel Christian Academy tied a school record with eight threes in an 80-25 win against Sharon Springs.