Dave Pugliese thought his Averill Park basketball team was going to hang around a lot longer than it did in Friday night’s Suburban Council game with state-ranked Guilderland.
“They’re very, very good,” Pugliese said after the Dutchmen had their way with the Warriors in a 77-46 win. “They took us out of everything we wanted to do, and it discouraged us a little.”
Guilderland shut down Averill Park’s perimeter attack that had been working so well, and spread the scoring between 10 players in a contest that was all but over by the half.
Guilderland (8-0, 9-0) outscored Averill Park (6-2, 6-4) in the second quarter, 27-7, to extend its advantage to 45-16, and distanced itself from the Warriors a bit more in the race for the league’s South Division title.
“Honestly, this is the first big game we’ve been in in a number of years,” Pugliese said. “We’re a young team. It was a little too big for us.”
Guilderland had already passed a couple of key tests, beating North Division contender Shaker, 67-50, and 2013 state Class A Federation champion Albany Academy before that, 70-65.
“We’ve been tested,” said Guilderland coach Ron Osinski. “I think playing in those games helps us.”
Andrew Platek scored 10 of his 23 points in the first half for Guilderland, while Billy Floyd netted nine of his 11 and sixth man Ralph Simeone delivered all of his eight over the two quarters. The half featured a game-altering 15-0 run by the Dutchmen, and some superb man-to-man defense by a team that looked spry despite playing its third game in four nights.
“Our game plan was to step out and limit their outside shots,” said Osinski. “They’re a good outside shooting team.”
Averill Park managed only a pair of three-point baskets in the first half, and four in all.
“We anticipated them coming out and pressuring us,” said Pugliese. “If they did that, we wanted to try to get to the basket. We didn’t get there. They were tough around the rim, too.”
“We turned it over a few times early in the game, but our defense didn’t break down,” said Osinski.
Once Guilderland cleaned up its offensive act, it rolled, and ended up with beating its eighth straight Suburban Council opponent by double digits.
Vin Simeone played a strong floor game and finished with six points and seven assists, and Marc duMoulin had 10 points. Matt Cerutti’s contributions included a team-high seven rebounds, two steals, two blocked shots and five assists.
“In our previous three games, we played in spurts. At times, we settled for outside shots. We were careless with some passes. We didn’t rebound well. We were spotty on defense,” said Osinski. “Tonight, we put it all together. I threw it out there that this is for first place, and our kids came to play.”
Guilderland went 12-for-13 from the foul line and struck for nine three-point baskets, with a trey by Platek giving the Dutchmen the lead for good at 6-3. Another long ball by Ralph Simeone began a 15-0 second-quarter run as Guilderland pulled away from an 18-11 lead, and yet another deep basket by Platek created the halftime margin.
“I thought we had a chance to stay with them for a while. We had been playing really well,” said Pugliese. “At the half, I told my guys, ‘Let’s try to do some of the things we came here to do.’ ”
Ralph Simeone had a layup to go with his three in the 15-0 run. Platek scored on back-to-back drives in the run, Cerutti made a pair of free throws and had a tip-in, and duMoulin capped it with two from the line.
Platek, a sophomore, notched 13 third-quarter points to surpass 20 for the third time in four games.
“I was pleased with what they did tonight,” said Osinski, after his Dutchmen reached 70 points for the sixth time. “They moved the ball and found open guys.”
Myles Joyce had 10 points and three steals for Averill Park, which had won three straight games.
Brown 1-1-3, Kiely 0-1-1, Fahrenkopf 2-1-7, Regan 0-2-2, Moak 1-2-4, Ernest 0-1-1, Rollins 3-1-8, Joyce 3-3-10, Yetto 0-1-1, Sears 1-1-3, Radzyminski 1-0-2. Totals: 14-14-46.
Wine 1-0-3, Floyd 3-5-11, V. Simeone 2-0-6, Platek 8-3-23, Lia 3-0-6, R. Simeone 3-0-8, Bruni 2-0-4, duMoulin 4-2-10, Abebe 1-0-2, Cerutti 1-2-4. Totals: 28-12-77.
Averill Park 9 7 17 13 — 46
Guilderland 18 27 17 15 — 77
Three-point goals: Fahrenkopf 2, Rollins, Joyce, Wine, V. Simeone 2, Platek 4, R. Simeone 2.