Troy did Scotia-Glenville a favor Saturday night by being Troy, by playing extremely hard and battling all the way in search of a Section II Class A basketball championship that the Tartans ultimately won.
“We wanted that game. To get a third title, a third T-shirt and patch, it was awesome,” Scotia-Glenville junior forward Mike Palleschi said of the 77-75 double-overtime victory. “That showed we could compete in that kind of game, and it took everyone doing their part.”
Scotia-Glenville’s reward was a trip to state regional play for the third year in a row and fourth time since 2009. The Tartans (21-0) meet Peru (Section VII, 12-6) tonight at 7 at Saratoga High School in a semifinal, with the winner taking on either Bishop Ludden (Section III, 19-2) or Massena (Section X, 16-6) Saturday at 6 at Hudson Valley Community College.
“Our ultimate goal — it’s unspoken — is the final four,” said Palleschi, who had 12 points, 11 rebounds and a pair of blocks against Troy. “We know there’s plenty of good teams out there, and even though we’re No. 1 in the state, nothing is given.”
Scotia-Glenville slipped past Troy, the state’s No. 3-ranked team, when Scott Stopera sank three foul shots with 5.3 seconds left in the second overtime. It was the first close call for the Tartans, who had won all but one previous game by double digits including sectional triumphs over Amsterdam (71-45) and Lansingburgh (72-40).
“That game was epic,” said Tartans coach Jim Giammattei, whose team let a 56-46 fourth-quarter lead get away. “That was a knock-down, drag-out game, and yeah, it was good for us.”
“A game like that helps you prepare for situations you might see and helps the confidence, but we’re not overconfident,” said Tartans junior guard Joe Cremo. “We can’t overlook anyone. It’s win or go home.”
Scotia-Glenville will be a big favorite against Peru, as will Bishop Ludden against Massena tonight at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. Scotia-Glenville overwhelmed Massena in the semifinals last year, 89-46, before losing to Bishop Ludden, 58-53.
“Since the bus ride home last year, our goal was to get back to Bishop Ludden,” said Giammattei. “Not that we’re overlooking Peru, but that matchup with Bishop Ludden is something they’ve had in the back of their mind for a long time.”
“We proved the other night that we can win the big one,” said Scotia-Glenville senior guard Alex Sausville. “It didn’t happen last year with Ludden. It was a close game near the end, and we didn’t connect.”
Bishop Ludden features a front line of 6-foot-6 Dan Kaigler, 6-6 Jack Rauch and 6-5 Zach Walser, and a dynamic guard combo with Boston College-bound Ben Hackett and Kyle Hawk. Hacket scored 24 points and Kaigler had 13 points and 19 rebounds in a 76-49 Section III title-game win over Jamesville-DeWitt that vaulted the Gaelic Knights to No. 5 in the state rankings.
“That was a tough loss,” Palleschi said of last year’s regional setback. “The next day, we came in and shot, and we started to talk about this year. We thought we could put a run together this year.”
Scotia-Glenville is the only unbeaten Class A team in the state, and stayed that way with a fabulous group effort against Troy. Cremo recorded a triple-double with 26 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Sausville scored 12 points, snared seven boards and never turned the ball over against Troy’s aggressive defense. Dom LeMorta scored 12 points on four threes before fouling out, and his replacement, Schuyler Sayles, nailed a three in each overtime.
“A game like that shows all the trust we have in each other. We all believe in each other,” said Cremo.
Scotia-Glenville lost to Jamesville-DeWitt in 2012 (58-45) and 2009 (90-61) regional games.
Kinnon LaRose scored 30 points, and Ogdensburg Free Academy (Section X, 22-1) raced to a big halftime lead in an 80-49 Class B regional win over Voorheesville Tuesday night at Saratoga.
Logan Hotaling had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Blackbirds (21-2).
OFA 80, VOORHEESVILLE 49
C. Ross 6-2-16, Pinkerton 3-0-6, Brady 1-0-2, Piercey 6-3-18, Rogers 1-0-2, LaRose 12-3-30, Hannan 1-2-4, Manke 1-0-2. Totals: 31-10-80.
Hensel 2-0-6, Hennessey 1-0-2, Parry 1-0-3, Crawford 4-0-8, Nolan 1-0-2, Hotaling 9-0-19, Meaux 3-0-7, Minnick 1-0-2. Totals: 22-0-49.
OFA 23 17 19 21 — 80
Voorheesville 14 9 17 9 — 49
Three-point goals: C. Ross 2, Piercey 3, LaRose 3, Hensel 2, Parry, Hotaling, Meaux.