Scotia-Glenville played a little more than a quarter of exceptional basketball Wednesday night, and that was plenty.
“We’re five minutes in, it looked like we were saying, ‘Where’s Bishop Ludden,’ ” Tartans coach Jim Giammattei said after a 70-41 Class A regional semifinal win over Peru at Saratoga Springs High School. “We played about nine minutes of real good basketball tonight. Am I angry about that? Not really. The guys know what happened out there, and they know what they have to do the next time.”
Scotia-Glenville scored 15 unanswered points to begin the regional contest, and the state’s No-1 ranked squad put the Indians of Section VII away with another spurt to start the third quarter.
Dom LeMorta continued his fine postseason with 19 points, Joe Cremo netted 15 to nudge a bit closer to the Scotia-Glenville career scoring record and Mike Palleschi blocked five shots and had two steals to anchor the defense in a contest that got a little chippy at the end.
“We didn’t rebound so well at times, and our shot selection wasn’t always great, but we got done what we had to do,” said LeMorta, a senior forward. “It was not pretty.”
Most of the first quarter was, though, when LeMorta nailed a pair of three-pointers, Palleschi picked up his first two blocks and Scott Stopera drew a charge in the 15-0 burst.
“In the first quarter, we came out with great energy,” said Cremo, a junior guard who added 10 rebounds and five of his team’s 18 assists. “We played Scotia basketball. We’ve got to get back to that.”
Scotia-Glenville (22-0) will take on Bishop Ludden (Section III, 20-2) in a rematch from last year’s regional final Saturday at 6 at Hudson Valley Community College. Scotia-Glenville trounced Massena, 89-46, before losing to Bishop Ludden last March, 58-53.
“We’ve got a great shot, and we know we have to be sharp,” said Cremo. “It’s win or go home, and we can’t take possessions off.”
“The guys have to do what we do. Play Scotia basketball, and do it all the way through,” said Giammattei. “You know they’re capable. You saw that in the bigger games with Troy and Schenectady.”
While Scotia-Glenville needed double overtime to get past Troy in the Section II title game, 77-75, Wednesday’s matchup was well in hand after the Tartans used a 10-4 third-quarter run to go up, 43-20.
The tone was set earlier on, when Cremo sank a foul shot, fed Palleschi for a layup and scored on a putback after LeMorta’s first three. Another three by LeMorta, a layup by Stopera and two Cremo foul shots boosted Scotia-Glenville’s advantage to 15-0.
Peru (12-7) broke the ice on a three by Tyler Lemza with 2:16 left in the first quarter, and on the Tartans’ ensuing trip, Stopera answered with a three. A second-quarter three by reserve Schuyler Sayles gave the Tartans a 19-point cushion, 31-12.
“We were excited to play, and we came out firing on all cylinders. We were moving the ball. Kicking the ball out and playing defense. I kept preaching to the guys, ‘Don’t let them score,’ ” said LeMorta. “We knew we had to get a win to get Bishop Ludden.
“That game, we’ve been looking forward to it since we lost last year.”
Alex Sausville scored 11 points for the Tartans, Stopera had 10 points and eight assists and Sayles finished with nine points.
Lemza had 10 points and 11 rebounds for Peru, which had beaten Fort Plain and Section II Class C champ Hoosic Valley early in the season.
“In the first quarter, we were moving the ball great, and we played well in the first couple of minutes in the third quarter,” said Cremo, who had six points in the 10-4 third-quarter run.
“On Saturday, we have to play well all the way through.”
Bishop Ludden beat Massena (Section X, 16-7) Wednesday night, 71-50, to advance.
“We didn’t play our best tonight, but we’re back, and now we get Bishop Ludden,” said LeMorta. “We need to keep on the throttle the whole time, whether we’re up or down.”
Guay 2-1-5, Spear 1-2-4, Casey 3-1-9, Hendricks 1-0-2, Lemza 3-3-10, Lawyer 1-0-3, Boice 1-0-2, Lawliss 2-2-6. Totals: 14-9-41.
Stopera 3-2-10, Sayles 2-4-9, Almond 0-2-2, Palleschi 2-0-4, Sausville 4-2-11, Cremo 6-3-15, LeMorta 8-1-19. Totals: 25-14-70.
Peru 8 8 9 16 — 41
Scotia-Glenville 20 13 22 15 — 70
Three-point goals: Casey 2, Lemza, Lawyer, Stopera 2, Sayles, Sausville, LeMorta 2.