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Girard III pressed, delivers late

Girard III pressed, delivers late

Glens Falls ace was contained in past games with Scotia
Girard III pressed, delivers late
Scotia-Glenville junior Robert Barrera looks to pass off in Tuesday's game against Glens Falls.
Photographer: PETER R. BARBER

SCOTIA — Joseph Girard III had to work extra hard for his points Tuesday night, but considering it was Scotia-Glenville supplying the pressure, that came as no surprise.

"They are always well coached," Girard III said after his late-game play carried Glens Falls to a 74-71 Foothills Council win on the Tartans' court. "They've got a group of guys on their staff who know how to play basketball and know how to coach basketball. [Mark] Sausville is a great coach like [Jim] Giammattei was before.

"You come here, you know it's going to be a tough game."

Girard III was tough down the stretch, with the all-time New York points leader dropping in 10 of his teams' final 14 after Scotia-Glenville had tied the contest at 60.

Girard III's short jumper pushed the Indians ahead 62-60 with 5:15 left, and his drive to the basket created the final score with 28 seconds to go. He finished with 45 points, his season average coming in, but had at least one guy from Scotia-Glenville close by all night.

"Joe stepped up when he had to," Sausville said of the senior guard. "He got into us and hit some daggers. He's a smart player. He started going by us and had some big twos."

Girard III went 17-for-18 from the foul line and sank four 3-point baskets to keep his streak alive with at least one 3 in each of the 98 varsity games he has played.

"Every single time we play it feels like it's everyone's Super Bowl," Girard III said after snaring seven rebounds and collecting two steals and a blocked shot. "Credit to them with the way they played. We had to grind this one out."

Scotia-Glenville holds the distinction of being the only varsity team to keep Girard III below double digits, holding him to seven in a January win for the Tartans during the 2014-15 season when he was in eighth grade. Scotia-Glenville limited Girard III to 11 points later that season in another Tartans win that was part of their second state title run.

"You're not going to get him to do that very often," Sausville said.

The Tartans were the last team to keep Girard III below 30 points, when he managed 27 his sophomore year in a January  2017 win for the Indians.

"Even that year [eighth grade], I used it as motivation," Girard III said.

Scotia-Glenville (3-3) was highly motivated, and effective for the most part, against the state's No. 5 Class B team (6-0).

"We all played great," said Tartans' junior guard Robert Barrera, who had 23 points and nine assists. "We had to keep making plays and make stops, and that kept us in the game. We had a great week of practice leading up to this game."

Andrew LeMorta contributed 19 points and 12 rebounds for Scotia-Glenville, and David Frisoni added 11 points.

"They definitely wanted to slow it down and run their stuff," Glens Falls coach Rob Girard said.

Barrera scored the Tartans' final seven points and 13 of their 18 in the fourth quarter. His 3 and short jumper soon after pulled the Tartans within 72-71 with 44 seconds left.

"Robert Barrera stepped up," Sausville said. "Instead of being tentative he believed in himself. He made some big shots. He showed people how good he is."

LeMorta tied the game at 60 with a hook shot, and Glens Falls followed with a key 6-0 spurt that Girard III starter with his short jumper and capped with two foul shots. In between, Kyle Vachon scored on a putback.

"At the end of the day, it's a grind-it-out win," Rob Girard said. "It will help us in the long run."

Glens Falls built a pair of eight-point, second-quarter leads before Scotia-Glenville closed the half with a 9-4 run to get within 33-30. In the second half, the contest was tied five times, and neither team could gain significant separation.

"My guys, I'm proud of them," Sausville said after his charges held Glens Falls to a season low in points. "They did everything I asked them to do."

Girard III became New York's all-time overall scoring leader with his 45 points. The Syracuse commit boosted his career points total to 3,577 and moved past former St. Johnsville star Caryn Kovatch (then Schoff), who amassed 3,548 points from 1989-95.

GLENS FALLS

Barclay 3-1-7, J. Girard 12-17-45, Vachon 3-2-8, McClements  1-1-3, T. Girard 4-0-11. Totals: 23-21-74.

SCOTIA-GLENVILLE

Frechette 2-2-7, Caldwell 1-0-3, West 2-0-4, Dupree 2-0-4, Frisoni 4-2-11, Barrera 11-0-23, LeMorta 8-2-19. Totals: 30-6-71.

Glens Falls 16 17 22 19 — 74

Scotia-Glenville 10 20 23 18 — 71

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

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