STILLWATER - Saint Johnsville coach Jason Brundage had his team prepared for its Section II Class D quarter final game against top-seeded Argyle.
The Saints held high-scoring Joey Lufkin and the Scots to a nine points and trailed by only a basket, 9-7, at the end of the period.
However, Lufkin found his range in the second quarter, netting 12 second-quarter points, including the 2,000th of his career with 1:26 left in the half, but the Scots had not put the Saints away and held a 10-point edge at the break, 29-19.
St. Johnsville’s Johnny Vicciarelli (15) shields the ball from Argyle’s Delsharay Price (22) as he drives to the hoop during a Class D quarterfinal game Saturday at Stillwater High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
The Saints stayed within striking distance, knocking the Scots' lead down to seven late in the third period, but Lufkin led a 26-point fourth quarter with 15 points and the Scots pulled away from the Saints for the 73-50 victory.
"I knew my kids would come and compete and I am proud of the way they played," Brundage said. "They are the number one team in the state for a good reason. They haven't lost yet this season. We came into a strange gym after a long bus ride and did compete. I am definitely proud of them. A couple of baskets after we cut it to seven could have helped things go another way, but at least we made them nervous."
The Saints took an early lead in Saturday's Class D quarterfinal game when Ricky Jasewicz hit a 3-pointer for a 3-2 edge. The Scots put up seven unanswered points to build a 9-3 lead. Alex Hart and Jonny Vicciarelli delivered baskets off strong drives to the basket to close the gap to 9-7 at the end of the opening period.
Section II Class AA Quarterfinals
Troy 55, Bethlehem 53
Green Tech 62, Shenendehowa 56
Shaker 60, LaSalle 49
CBA 55, Guilderland 41
Section II Class C Quarterfinals
Canajoharie 56. Stillwater 44
Hoosic Valley 50, Rensselaer 45
Section II Class D Quarterfinals
Argyle 73, St. Johnsville 50
L'ville Christian 53, Northville 42
Germantown 61, North Warren 53
Fort Ann 57, Hartford 55
The Scots, the top-ranked Class D team in the state, could not pull away from the Saints in the second period but achieved its largest lead of the first half, 29-19 as the teams headed to the locker rooms at the half.
Argyle came off the break and got two quick baskets off turnovers from Brock Liddle and Lufkin. The Scots built the lead to 12 with 2:42 left in the period, before Alex Hart outscored the Scots 9-1 to close the scoring to 43-36. Liddle and Lufkin finished the third quarter the way they started it, with baskets to give the Scots a 47-36 lead heading into the final period.
Lufkin found his range in the opening half of the final period, hitting 10 points to help Argyle outscore the Saints 26-14 and close out the 73-50 win.
Lufkin finished with 36 points to bring his career scoring total to 2020. Selsharay Pryce finished with 12 points, while Liddle contributed nine.
Hart finished the game with 20 points for the Saints, while Dylan Klock added 12 points including three 3-pointers.
"I am sure after tonight everybody in that gym knows who Alex Hart is," Brundage said. "He played his tail off the entire game. We lose four seniors, Hart, Kyle Smith, Jasewicz and Brandon Campione, but with the kids we have returning we have a lot to be excited about."
Argyle 73, St. Johnsville 50
St. Johnsville7 12 17 14 - 50
Argyle9 20 18 26 - 73
Campione 2-0-5, Hart 9-2-20, Jaszewicz 2-2-7, Klock 4-0-11, Smith 1-0-2, Vicciarelli 2-1-5. Totals: 20-5-50.
Lufkin 14-4-36, Riston 0-1-1, Liddle 4-0-9, Schmaler 2-0-4, Pryce 5-3-12. Totals: 28-10-73.
3-point goals: St. Johnsville 5 (Klock 3, Jasewicz, Campione); Argyle 6 (Lufkin 4, Liddle, Rosati).