Photo Caption: Gloversville’s Lucia Bouchard (15) is double-teamed by Mekeel Christian Academy’s Alanah Barnhill, left, and Promise Mitchell (34) as she drives the baseline during non-league action Monday night at Gloversville High School. The Lady Dragons’ Zoie Tesi (20) looks on.
By James A. Ellis
The Gloversville Lady Dragons did something they haven’t done since 2018 — won a girls varsity basketball game.
Powered by Lucia Bouchard’s 16-point fourth-quarter scoring surge, the Lady Dragons erased a 19-point deficit to defeat Mekeel Christian Academy 44-43 in non-league action Monday night at Gloversville High School.
“I am thrilled. To win like that is pretty intense,” Gloversville coach Emily Parslow said of her first career varsity coaching victory. “We have a lot of heart and none of them are going to give up. Basketball is a game of runs and tonight proved that.”
Playing their third game in four days, Mekeel Christian Academy (0-3) took a 17-10 lead into the locker room after a lackluster first half by both teams.
The Lions came off the break with intensity, pressing the Lady Dragons into turnovers, which they converted to points and a 31-12 advantage with just under three minutes left in the third quarter.
Gloversville found the spark it was looking for off the bench from eighth-grader Angelina Christman.
Christman hit a 3-pointer and hustled on defensive, constantly pestering the Mekeel ball handlers, leading to turnovers that helped trim the Lions’ lead to 11, 33-22 heading into the final stanza.
Parslow opted to try pressing Mekeel Christian in the final quarter to keep her team’s energy up.
“We haven’t put a press in yet but I figured a man-to-man press would be all right,” she said. “Every time we press it is chaotic. Other teams don’t know what to do and it worked to our favor tonight.”
Bouchard dialed in her shot from behind the arc and hit five of her seven 3-pointers in the game in the final eight minutes and drawing the Lady Dragons to within a basket with 69 seconds left to play.
Zoie Tesi tied the game up with her layup off an inbounds pass from Brooke Dutcher with 51 seconds showing on the clock.
The Lions had opportunities in the closing seconds but could not capitalize on the opportunities as Bouchard was fouled after gaining control of a long rebound and driving up court.
The sophomore missed the first but made the second with 7.4 seconds left to give the Lady Dragons the lead and their first win in three seasons.
“It wasn’t the games, it was the lack of being able to practice,” Mekeel Christian Academy coach Doug Holden said. “Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers and missing free throws. We left a lot of points on the line and that’s all it takes when you lose by one.”
Promise Mitchell led the Lions with 18 points, while Alanah Barnhill had nine and Moon Ballard finished with seven.
Bouchard led Gloversville (1-0) with 22 points including seven 3-pointers, while Tesi finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds and Christman added five points.
“Angelina Christman was in quarantine last week; that is why she didn’t play until the second half,” Parslow said. “She went in and, offensively and defensively, played phenomenal. It was a spark that everyone fed off.”
Gloversville opens its Foothills Council campaign Thursday against Hudson Falls.
Mekeel Christian 5 12 16 10 – 43
Gloversville 5 5 12 22 – 44
Mekeel Christian Academy — Mbango 2-0-4, Mitchell 7-2-18, Ballard 3-1-7, Dell 1-0-3, Barnhill 3-3-9, Zarauz 1-0-2. Scoring Totals: 17-6-43.
Gloversville — Chapin 1-0-2, Bouchard 7-1-22, Tesi 5-2-12, Christman 2-0-5, Dutcher 1-1-3. Scoring Totals:16-4-44.
3-point goals: Mekeel Christian Academy 3 (Promise Mitchell 2, Sianna Dell); Gloversville 8 (Lucia Bouchard 7, Angelina Christman).