TROY - It is hard to beat a team three times in a season.
But the Gloversville Dragons did it.
The Dragons defeated Queensbury for the third time, this time 68-48 to advance to the Section II Class A semifinals Thursday at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Gloversville’s Asa Barnhill (3) drives past Queensbury’s Eric Daley (10) and Aidan Switzer during Sunday’s Section II Class A quarterfinal game at Hudson Valley Community College.
The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis
"The fact that we got a [first-round] bye is fantastic," Gloversville coach Mark Lefever said. "You will take a bye any chance you can. It worried me [playing the Spartans a third time] because they played us tough the last time we played them. It was a three-point game in the fourth quarter so we knew we had to play our best. I don't think we got their best tonight."
No. 3 Gloversville and second-seeded Troy will play a Class A semifinal game at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Glens Falls Civic Center, while No. 5 Amsterdam will play top-seeded Scotia-Glenville in the other semifinal at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The winners advance to the championship game at 7:15 p.m. Saturday at the Civic Center.
Scotia advanced with a 72-40 win over Lansingburg, while Troy beat Mohonasen 62-48 and Amsterdam defeated Averill Park in overtime 64-61.
Gloversville won the tip but the Spartans put the first points of the game on the board with Keeghan O'Leary hitting from the low post. Although O'Leary later hit a 3-pointer, the Dragons countered with a pair of baskets each from Barceem Dukes and Hunter Goodwin to take an 8-4 lead.
The Dragons pulled ahead by eight points after Asa Barnhill connected on a field goal and a 3-pointer before Keyshawn Arnold hit from the field to build Gloversville's lead to 15-9 at the end of the opening period.
Gloversville continued to build its lead with a 12-0 run to open the second quarter, and controlled the defensive boards too often to allow the Spartans one shot at the basket.
Holding Queensbury to six points on one field goal and four free throws allowed Gloversville to carry a 29-15 lead into the locker room at the half.
"It was nice to get out of the gate quickly," Lefever said. "I was concerned about how we were going to respond in a game on a big court when we haven't played in 12 days. Scrimmages just don't have the same feel as a real game. I was very pleased we came out, scored early, defended pretty well and rebounded well."
The teams exchanged baskets early before Arnold and James Scholl hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Dukes added another basket late in the third period to extend the Dragons' lead to 43-24 heading into the final eight minutes.
The Spartans engineered their best quarter in the final stanza, connecting for 24 points, but Barnhill hit 12 of Gloversville's 25 points in the period to lock up the 68-48 victory.
"We knew they were going to be physical and pound the boards," Lefever said. "I thought maybe they were going to push it and run more. In previous games they got some easy buckets on us doing that and they got very few fast break buckets on us tonight. That was a big key."
The Spartans attack earned 30 attempts from the free-throw line, while Gloversville had 13 attempts.
O'Leary led Queensbury with 18 points, while Kalen Minott hit for nine.
Barnhill finished with 26 points including four 3-pointers. Arnold hit three 3-pointers en route to his 17-point performance. Dukes pulled down 16 rebounds to go with 10 points and Goodwin had nine rebounds and nine points.
"It is exciting," Lefever said. "Our kids knew what was on the line today - a chance to play at the Civic Center. I am excited to have at least three more days of practice and another game. No matter who we play, I think we can compete and play with them."
Gloversville 68, Queensbury 48
Queensbury9 6 9 24 - 48
Gloversville15 14 14 25 - 68
Voorhis 0-5-5, Daley 1-0-2, Minott 3-1-9, Troelstra 2-0-5, Rodriguez 3-1-7, O'Leary 5-7-18, Dennett 1-0-2. Totals: 15-14-38.
Scholl 2-0-6, Barnhill 10-2-26, Dukes 5-0-10, Goodwin 4-1-9, Arnold 6-2-17. Totals: 27-5-68.
3-point goals: Queensbury 4 (Kalen Minott 2, Keeghan O'Leary, Adam Troelstra); Gloversville 9 (Asa Barnhill 4, Keyshawn Arnold 3, James Scholl 2).