JOHNSTOWN – Coming into Tuesday’s game, the Johnstown boys basketball team knew it had a chance to keep Scotia-Glenville from claiming the Foothills Council South Division title.
However, the Tartans earned the title with a 73-50 victory over the Sir Bills at Johnstown High School.
Even with the win, the Tartans needed some help from Broadalbin-Perth, which topped Amsterdam, 74-56. The Rams’ loss left them at 10-3 in Foothills play, while Scotia-Glenville finished at 11-2.
“We’ll take it,” Scotia-Glenville coach Jim Giamattei said of the Foothills Council South Division title.
To claim the crown, the Tartans had to fend off a tenacious Johnstown squad that took them to overtime in their first meeting Dec. 18. Scotia-Glenville won that game on its home floor, 53-51.
In the rematch, the Tartans jumped out to a 20-10 first-quarter lead behind 11 points from Christian Corker in the opening quarter.
Johnstown chipped away at its deficit in the second quarter, closing to within two points with 1:09 to play in the half.
“I thought we played a great first half,” Johnstown coach Matt Guzielek said.
However, the Tartans got back-to-back 3-pointers from Sean DeGraffenreid and Trevor Martin to end the first half with a 30-22 advantage.
“We cut it to two in the first half and then they hit two big shots late to push the lead back out,” Guzielek said. “[Scotia-Glenville] just stepped up and hit some big 3-pointers.”
In the third quarter, the Sir Bills fell behind by as many as 13 points only to close within nine points heading into the fourth quarter down by a 48-39 margin.
After Martin opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer for Scotia-Glenville, Johnstown trimmed the Tartans’ lead to 51-44 behind a basket from James Soler and a 3-pointer by Jamal Vazquez.
From there, Scotia-Glenville dashed the Sir Bills’ comeback bid with a flurry of 3-pointers. The Tartans connected on 13 shots from behind the arc for the game and seven of those game in the final eight minutes.
“I thought behind every 3-pointer tonight was one more pass, getting feet set and knocking down the shot,” Giamattei said. “We passed up some good 3-pointers for some great 3-pointers.”
As a result, the Tartans quickly turned their 51-44 lead into a 63-48 advantage thanks to 12-2 run that featured four consecutive 3-pointers.
“They were lights out in the second half,” Guzielek said. “It’s a credit to them. They have constant movement all the time and put us in bad positions defensively at times.”
Scotia-Glenville outscored Johnstown 25-11 to seal the victory.
Corker finished with a game-high 26 points for the Tartans, while DeGraffenreid scored 23 points. Both Corker and DeGraffenreid finished with five 3-points. Martin added 12 points for Scotia-Glenville, an effort that included three 3-pointers.
“We were able to knock down open shots tonight,” Giamattei said. “We shot well tonight. It was a shooter’s game tonight.”
Vazquez scored 19 points to lead Johnstown.
Scotia-Glenville (16-2 overall, 11-2 Foothills) will face Glens Falls in the Foothills Council championship game Thursday at the Glens Falls Civic Center at 7:30 p.m.
Johnstown (6-13 overall, 2-11 Foothills) is scheduled to host Queensbury in a Foothills Council crossover on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
“I think we shown we can play with anybody,” Guzielek said. “I’m excited about our chances in sectionals. I still believe in these guys.”
Scotia-Glenville 73, Johnstown 50
Scotia-Glenville20 10 18 25 – 73
Johnstown10 12 17 11 – 50
Corker 10-1-26, Clune 4-0-8, TenEyck 2-0-4, DeGraffenreid 8-2-23, Martin 4-1-12. Totals 28-4-73.
D. Boyle 3-0-6, Soler 3-0-7, Billa 1-0-2, Vazquez 8-1-19, Sweet 4-0-8, Wager 3-2-8. Totals 22-3-50.
3-point goals: Scotia-Glenville 13 (Corker 5, DeGraffenreid 5, Martin 3); Johnstown (Vazquez 2, Soler).