The Scotia-Glenville basketball team will be looking for a program breakthrough, and one for all of Section II, when it faces Bishop Ludden in a Class A regional final tonight at 6 at Hudson Valley Community College.
The Tartans have never won a regional title, going 0-for-3, while Glens Falls was the last area team to make it through to the state Class A final four in 2007 with Jimmer Fredette.
“It’s a process,” said Scotia-Glenville coach Jim Giammattei. “You stay after it and you crawl a little closer.”
The Tartans have done that in their state tournament history, which began with a 90-61 loss to Jamesville-DeWitt in 2009. The Tartans hung tough for a half in another loss (58-45) to J-D in 2012. Last year, they roughed up Massena, 89-46, and then battled Bishop Ludden down to the wire in a 58-53 setback.
Scotia-Glenville beat Peru, 70-41, Wednesday, and Bishop Ludden (Section III, 20-2) slugged Massena, 71-50, to create the rematch.
“If we do what we’re supposed to do, like we did against Troy, we’ll have a chance,” said Giammattei, whose Tartans outlasted the Flying Horses in a double-overtime Section II championship game, 77-75. “We’ve got to defend with our 3-2, run our lanes, move the ball and make the open threes.”
Scotia-Glenville (22-0) will bring a No. 1 state ranking and a veteran lineup into tonight’s contest. Joe Cremo and Alex Sausville have been mainstays for three seasons, Dom LeMorta and Scott Stopera are two-year starters and Mike Palleschi was first off the bench last season. LeMorta scored 19 points against Peru and Cremo had a triple-double against Troy with 26 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
“When kids have been there before, they know what to expect. It helps,” said Giammattei. “Look at Green Tech. They lost in the [2013 Section II] Class AA final, and got back and won it.”
Bishop Ludden is expected to be missing one of its veterans, 6-foot-6 Jack Rauch, who suffered a high ankle sprain during the Gaelic Knights’ 76-49 Section III title-game win over Jamesville-DeWitt. His replacement, guard Kevin Sierotnik, scored 13 points against Massena, with three threes.
Dan Kaigler, Ludden’s other 6-6 forward, notched 19 points against Massena and guard Ben Hackett scored 16.
Hackett and Cremo both scored 19 points in the 2013 regional. Cremo’s layup pulled the Tartans within 47-46 in the fourth quarter, but the Tartans couldn’t get over the hump after mounting a big comeback.
“We’ve got to play 110 percent,” said Cremo. “We can’t take possessions off.”
Albany Academy dealt Ludden its first loss (68-66) in January, and the Gaelic Knights also lost to Westhill (62-54). Ludden defeated Watervliet for the 2012 state Class B championship.
In other boys’ regional finals at HVCC, Hoosic Valley (19-3) meets Seton Catholic (Section VII, 17-3) in a Class C game at 4:30, and Green Tech (16-5) meets Utica Proctor (Section III, 18-3) in a Class AA game at 7:30.