The story of Scotia-Glenville’s run to the state Class A basketball semifinals would not be complete without a chapter on Schuyler Sayles.
The senior is the first player off the Tartans bench, and at some point in Saturday’s game with John Glenn at the Glens Falls Civic Center, his services will be required when coach Jim Giammattei calls his name.
“Schuyler is not only a great shooter, he’s always enthusiastic on defense,” junior Mike Palleschi said of his teammate. “Even in practice, he’s a key guy. People don’t see it, but Schuyler, Joe [Almond] and the other guys do a phenomenal job of getting us ready.”
Sayles did that more than play last season, when he scored a total of nine points. He matched that total in Scotia-Glenville’s season opener, and has since had seven double-digit outings, including a pair with 17 points.
“Last year, he was disappointed with his playing time, and he worked his butt off,” said Tartans junior Joe Cremo. “He came to everything. He went to open gyms.”
He earned his spot in the rotation early in the season and has kept it with aggressive play on defense and shooting range that has him third on the team with 35 three-point baskets. He averages just over seven points.
“When we’re practicing, I just try to make the team better,” Sayles said of his contribution to the state’s No. 1-ranked team. “When I get out there, I want to keep the team going. I do not want to stall the team.”
Sayles gave the team a huge boost with a pair of three-point baskets in a 77-75 double-overtime win against Troy in the Section II Class A championship game. He had missed three three-point attempts when he subbed in for Dom LeMorta in the second quarter, after LeMorta sustained a cut over his eye. Sayles missed another three late in regulation after LeMorta fouled out.
“My teammates did a great job of picking me up,” said Sayles. “I never stopped believing.”
“His threes were huge,” said Giammattei. “We have faith in him. We tell him in timeouts, ‘We want you to shoot the ball.’ ”
Sayles’ baseline threes gave Scotia-Glenville a 67-63 lead in the first overtime and tied the game at 72-72 in the second OT.
“The Troy game, that was the best game of his life,” said Cremo. “He gave us so much energy, and even though he had games with more points, those threes were so big. I was very excited for Schuyler. I thanked him afterward.”
Sayles scored nine points in Scotia-Glenville’s 70-41 regional semifinal win over Peru. His three-pointer gave the Tartans their largest first-half lead, at 31-12.
“The threes are something you practive every day,” he said. “It’s a good feeling when you can hit one and help the team.”
sausville breaks out
Alex Sausville more than doubled his output from two previous playoff outings when the Scotia-Glenville senior guard poured in a career-high 28 points in Saturday’s 72-44 Class A regional title-game win over Bishop Ludden.
“He’s capable of doing that,” said Giammattei.
Sausville scored 11 points in the regional semifinal win over Peru and had 12 when Scotia-Glenville beat Troy in the Section II final. His postseason high was 14 in a 72-40 Section II quarterfinal win over Lansingburgh.
“Let’s just say at the end of every pratice, me and my dad were there for a while,” Sausville said.
The Foothills Council all-star scored 17 first-half points to help Scotia-Glenville open up a 42-26 lead against Ludden. Sausville finished 12-for-16 from the field, going 3-for-4 from three-point range.
“Alex was on tonight,” Cremo said after the win. “It was great to see him hitting.”
Sausville had delivered in big games before. He scored 20 points when Scotia-Glenville beat Gloversville and locked up the Foothills title, and put in 24 against Newburgh Free Academy and 22 against Schenectady when the Tartans won the Arthur Hilliard Memorial Tournament championship.
Scotia-Glenville (23-0) and John Glenn (Section XI, 18-6) play Saturday morning at 10:45, following the Class A semifinal at 9 pitting Rochester East (Section V, 19-4) and Red Hook (Section IX, 17-5). Sunday’s title game is at 1:30. . . .
Scotia-Glenville is one of two unbeaten teams remaining in the state. Class B Westhill (Section III, 23-0) is the other. . . .
With 1,298 points, Cremo needs 10 to become Scotia-Glenville’s career scoring leader. Terence Coppola (2004 graduate) scored 1,307.