SCOTIA — For nearly six full minutes of action to start Thursday’s Foothills Council game against Scotia-Glenville, the Gloversville girls’ basketball team couldn’t make a shot.
But they kept shooting . . . and shooting . . . and shooting.
“It felt like there was a lid on the top of the rim,” Gloversville head coach Molly D’Arcy said.
“But our team did a good job staying composed,” Gloversville senior Harmony Philo said. “We kept playing hard defense and waited for our turn to come. Coach is very good about encouraging us, too.”
Finally, a shot went in from Gloversville senior Kendra Lavery — and that was enough to get the Dragons going in what became a 51-29 win. After spotting Scotia an early 6-1 advantage, Gloversville responded with a 19-0 run that stretched well into the second quarter before a basket from Tartans senior Kaitlyn Wilson.
“It’s hard. It can be frustrating,” D’Arcy said of her team’s early offensive struggles. “But you just have to realize there’s a lot of time left in the game.”
There is a lot of time left in the season, too, for an athletic Gloversville squad to gain the experience it needs after graduating several key contributors from last season’s Section II Class A semifinalist. Before playing Scotia (1-2 Foothills Council and overall), Gloversville (2-1, 2-1) lost its first game of the season against Amsterdam before registering a victory against Glens Falls.
“We don’t have a lot of size or experience, so we’re trying to get our girls used to varsity-pace play,” Philo said. “They’re doing a better job with it. They’re inexperienced, but they’re getting there.”
“And we have a lot of athletes,” D’Arcy said. “I think everyone on my team plays more than one sport.”
As the rest of Gloversville’s roster gains varsity hoops experience, D’Arcy’s team can rely heavily on Philo and Lavery. Philo, who came into Thursday’s game off a 38-point showing against Glens Falls, registered 23 points against Scotia, while Lavery scored 18. The two seniors provided the needed on-court guidance, too, when Gloversville struggled to score for nearly all of the first quarter.
“They rallied them,” D’Arcy said. “Our girls really respond well to them.”
Gloversville scored the final six points of the first quarter and kept up the momentum to take a 23-15 lead into halftime. The Dragons scored the first eight points of the second half, too, before Tartans senior Asia Winney — who scored a team-high 12 points — stopped the run with a basket.
Scotia head coach Megan Bowman liked the intensity her team played with on the defensive end.
“To be honest,” Bowman said, “I liked our defense. If you would have told me we’d hold Gloversville to 51 points, I’d say we’d win the game. . . . But what killed us was our turnovers. We just kept talking about having a short-term memory and to let our defense spark us, but, unfortunately, it was just a cold shooting night for us.”
In particular, Bowman liked the defense Winney provided against Philo, who came into Thursday’s game averaging 33.0 points. Winney said she has a friendly rivalry with Philo.
“We’ve been playing against each other since the fourth grade in travel basketball,” Winney said. “So [guarding her] is nothing I wasn’t used to doing. Harmony and I have become great friends, but on the court we’re enemies.”
Gloversville started last season with four consecutive losses. Off to a better start this season, Lavery said her team knows the key areas it still needs to improve.
“Our transition defense and our rebounding,” Lavery said. “That’s been our two main things we’ve focused on from our first game going into our second game and this game.”
Already, Gloversville has its January rematch with Amsterdam circled on its schedule. Amsterdam topped Gloversville 69-56 last week in the opener for both teams.
“We’re trying to build our confidence up so that the next time we play them, we’re ready and prepared for what they’re going to bring,” Philo said.
Christman 2-0-4, M. Jones 1-0-2, Philo 7-5-23, Avery 0-2-2, Mee 1-0-2, Lavery 7-4-18. Totals: 18-11-51.
Winney 5-0-12, O’Neil 4-0-8, Charnews 2-0-4, Wilson 2-0-5. Totals: 13-0-29.
Gloversville 7 16 11 17 — 51
Scotia-Glenville 6 9 8 6 — 29