Alex Sausville dropped in a runner on Scotia-Glenville’s first trip, two quick baskets followed and the hoops kept coming.
The Tartans hit John Glenn with maximum force in the opening quarter and eased to an 81-50 milestone victory Saturday in a state Class A semifinal game at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
“It was a great start. We played Scotia basketball,” coach Jim Giammattei said after the Tartans broke from the gate quickly for the third straight time in state tournament play. “Sometimes, you just jump in the water, and sometimes, you’re going to feel it out. Feeling it out hurt them a lot.”
The Tartans (24-0) had 20 points on the board before the Knights (Section XI, 18-7) made their second basket, and after one quarter the first-time final-four participants were up, 29-11.
The Knights got as close as 12 twice in the second quarter.
“We had a great game plan. We knew what we wanted to do,” said Tartans junior Scott Stopera. “We were protecting gaps on defense and moving the ball and hitting shots. Do that, and you get great results.”
Joe Cremo generated 27 points and moved to the top of Scotia-Glenville’s career scoring list, and all five Tartan starters finished in double figures for the first time this season.
“This opportunity doesn’t come around,” said Tartans senior Dom LeMorta. “I was telling the guys, ‘We’ve got a chance at this, and we’re not going to let down at all.’ We were ready to go, and we fired on all cylinders.”
Like Scotia-Glenville, Rochester’s East High started strong in its semifinal with Red Hook, and used a 29-13 first-half run as a springboard toward a 57-45 victory. East (Section V, 19-4) and Scotia-Glenville will meet today at 1:30 for the New York title.
“This is what we’ve worked for since we got in high school. It’s our goal,” said LeMorta. “We’ll go out and play out butt off.”
No Section II team has won a state Class A title since the tournament went to five classes in 2004.
“What you get from city school is totally different that anything we’ve seen. East is going to get the basketball and take it to you,” said Giammattei. “One thing about my guys is they are going to compete and not stop. They’ll have to beat us down to take it.”
Scotia-Glenville beat John Glenn in every way in its early surge. All five starters scored before the game was three minutes old, and at the first break, Cremo had eight points, Sausville had seven, Mike Palleschi had six,
LeMorta had five and Stopera had three.
Palleschi delivered the highlight basket on a flying tip-in, while LeMorta and Sausville nailed threes, and Cremo scored on a perfect alley-oop pass from Stopera.
“The first thing on our scouting report was transition. We didn’t stop it like we wanted to,” said John Glenn coach Charly Rogener. “They were quick. Their whole group.”
Scotia-Glenville led, 20-2, after putting together a 14-0 run.
“On film, we saw when their guards shot, they didn’t get back,” said LeMorta. “We were getting the ball and getting out.”
“We really wanted to get out. Even if they scored,” said Stopera. “We wanted to go as quick as we could.”
Scotia-Glenville hit 14 of 20 shots in the first quarter, and was 18-for-31 for the opening half in building a 44-28 advantage. The Tartans had assists on 12 of their 18 baskets.
“Our ball movement was tremendous,” said Giammattei. “And at the end of the third, fourth pass was someone finishing.”
Scotia-Glenville shot 55 percent for the game (32-for-58) and held a 50-25 rebounding lead, with Palleschi snaring 16 to go with 12 points and four blocks. Cremo had 14 rebounds and six assists, one less than Stopera.
LeMorta finished with 15 points, including a pair of threes in an 8-0 run to begin the third quarter. The Tartans also put together a 10-0 run spanning the third and fourth quarters.
John Glenn’s stat line included a 6-for-26 effort from three-point range. KeAndre Augustine led the Long Island champs with 19 points.
“Getting down like we did, we had to change our game plan,” said Rogener. “We did some things we don’t normally do.”
Stopera 4-1-10, TenEyck 1-0-2, Palleschi 5-2-12, Clune 1-0-2, Sausville 4-0-10, Cremo 10-7-27, LeMorta 6-0-15, Bekkering 1-0-3. Totals: 32-10-81.
Daniels 6-0-13, Park 3-0-7, Boodie 1-0-3, White 2-1-6, Augustine 6-5-19, Coppola 1-0-2. Totals: 19-6-50.
Scotia-Glenville 29 15 21 16 — 81
John Glenn 11 17 8 14 — 50
Three-point goals: Stopera, Sausville 2, LeMorta 3, Bekkering, Daniels, Park, Boodie, White, Augustine 2.
Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 395-3143 or email@example.com.