When it was finally Scotia-Glenville’s time to break through, Alex Sausville, Joe Cremo and the rest of the Tartans certainly did it right.
Sausville scored 17 points in a first-half outburst, and Scotia-Glenville threw a defensive change-up at Bishop Ludden as part of its 72-44 Class A regional championship-game victory Saturday night at Hudson Valley Community College.
“That was unreal,” said Sausville, a senior guard. “As hard as we fought last year, and to come back and beat them by that much . . . wow.”
The near end-to-end win propelled Scotia-Glenville (23-0) into its first state final four after regional defeats the last two years, as well as in 2009. Bishop Ludden (Section III, 20-3) ousted the Tartans last year with a late spurt, 58-53, and Scotia-Glenville used an early one and never relented in the rematch.
“We were clicking on all cylinders. We were getting the ball to the right guy and making shots,” said Tartans coach Jim Giammattei. “They were like a well-oiled machine in the first half, and for many segments in the second half.”
Though the score was similar, Saturday’s contest was nothing like Scotia-Glenville’s uneven 70-41 win over Peru in Wednesday’s regional semifinal.
“We played so together against Troy [in the Section II final], and against Peru, it was a letdown,” said Sausville. “We got through it. Tonight, we stepped up.”
The Tartans shot over 65 percent (17-for-26) from the field in the first half in building a 42-26 lead. Scott Stopera began the third quarter with a runner, a Sausville steal led to a short jumper by Cremo and Scotia-Glenville was on its way to a state semifinal against Long Island champ John Glenn (18-6) Saturday at 10:45 a.m. at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
“It’s sweet because this has been one of our goals since day one,” said Cremo, a junior guard. “We’re playing with confidence. We’re playing together. We think we can go up there and do something.”
Scotia-Glenville did a lot against the state’s No. 5-ranked team, including a stiffling defensive effort that in the end left Bishop Ludden shooting 36 percent (17-for-47) from the field.
The 6-foot-3 Cremo played down low with 6-5 Mike Palleschi in the Tartans’ 3-2 zone to battle Ludden’s 6-6 Dan Kaigler and 6-5 Zach Walser rather than up top in the middle, his usual spot.
“Their game plan is to pound it inside, so we put Joe in the trenches to fight,” said Giammattei. “That’s game-planning. You put your chess pieces where you can use them.”
“Joe is better physically at boxing out and getting the ball,” said senior forward Dom LeMorta, who switched defensive positions with Cremo. “That helped us out.”
Kaigler finished with 14 points and four rebounds, and Walser had six points and one board.
“I think I’d give us an A-plus,” said Cremo. “Our defense played great, and at the other end, all five guys stepped up.”
Cremo had 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists, and drew two charges. Palleschi netted 10 and snared nine rebounds, Stopera and LeMorta combined for 13 points, while Sausville was the offensive star for the state’s No. 1-ranked team with a career-high 28 markers.
Sausville was 7-for-9 shooting in the first half with three three-pointers, and was 12-for-16 in all.
“He played so good tonight,” said LeMorta. “I’ve been shooting pretty well, and they stuck to me. Alex stepped up. His floater was working well.
Everything was working.”
With Jimmer Fredette leading the charge, Glens Falls was Section II’s last Class A team to reach the state final four, in 2007.
Sanders 1-0-3, Hackett 3-2-8, Hawk 2-0-6, Beauford 0-2-2, Kaigler 6-2-14, Sierotnik 2-0-5, Walser 3-0-6. Totals: 17-6-44.
Stopera 2-1-6, Almond 1-0-2, Palleschi 4-2-10, Clune 1-0-2, Sausville 12-1-28, Cremo 7-2-17, LeMorta 3-0-7. Totals: 30-6-72.
B. Ludden 11 15 8 10 — 44
S-G 24 18 17 13 — 72
Three-point goals: Sanders, Hawk 2, Sierotnik, Stopera, Sausville 3, Cremo, LeMorta.