Gloversville’s Philo hits 1,000-point mark

Gloversville girls varsity Coach Molly D’Arcy presents Harmony Philo with a basketball commemorating her reaching the 1,000-point career scoring milestone with 10.1 seconds left in the first of of the Lady Dragons Foothills Council game against Glens Falls Monday at Gloversville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

GLOVERSVILLE — With 10.3 seconds left in the second quarter of Monday’s Foothills Council girls’ basketball game against Glens Falls, Gloversville’s Harmony Philo etched her name in the annals of Gloversville High School sports history.

The junior sharp-shooter connected for a short fade-away jumper for her 15th point of the game and became the first Lady Dragons basketball player to reach the 1,000-point career scoring milestone.

“Harmony has an incredible work ethic and has worked incredibly hard on her game,” Gloversville girls varsity basketball coach Molly D’Arcy said. “She deserves everything she has gotten. I have seen the work that she puts in in the gym and outside the gym. We are incredibly proud of her and I know the school it proud of her and the community is proud of her. This is a big thing because she is the first girl from Gloversville, so it is really an exciting thing for us.”

Philo joins Bob Miller (1,321/1965), Andy Goodemote (1,046/1985), Matt Goodemote (1,003/1989), Chris Ciaccio (2,373/1990), Justin DeMagistris (1,401/1999), Ace Barnhill (1,222/2006) and Matt Baldwin (1,132/2009) as a member of the Gloversville High School 1,000-point club.

“It makes me feel really good about myself,” Philo said looking up at the banner listing the 1,000-point scorers. “I never really pictured it until it was just happening and it was like Wow! This just happened! It wasn’t even a thought of mine until last year. “

Philo, who turned 17 last Saturday, started playing organized basketball in fourth grade as a member of the Foothills AAU team coached by her father, Mike.

The team had success at a young age and the team stayed together up through the ranks.

“I have played with the same girls ever since,” Philo said. “Kerri Hauser, Gabby Langley, Alex Benfatti, Gabby Brown, Jazmine Gonzalez. We went a long way and even played in Florida.”

As the young team experienced success on the AAU level the high school varsity team struggled. The Lady Dragons dropped back to the junior varsity level for the 2011-2012 and 2012-13 seasons before returning to the varsity level in the 2013-14 season. Along the way the Lady Dragons went winless since December of 2010 before snapping a 46-game varsity losing streak on Feb. 15, 2015.

Philo said there was a concern if there would even be a team when the group reached the high school level.

“I remember when there wasn’t even a varsity team,” she said. “I was more not doubtful, but hopeful. I was hopeful for the group of seniors that we have this year, me and Kendra and everyone because I knew that we would be the next good class.”

Philo played on the junior varsity level as an eighth-grader the year the team snapped its losing streak.

“It was a good year on JV,” she said. “Me and Alex were on JV at the time together so it was a really good year. When I was that age I kind of wished I could have been moved up to varsity but I think it was a really good year. I was just an eighth-grader.”

Coach D’Arcy said she saw the potential but opted to give her a year of JV experience instead of pulling her up to varsity.

“She had the potential. Her shot is something she has had for a very long time,” D’Arcy said. “She is a very sound player.”

The Lady Dragons returned to sectional play for the first time in 10 years in the 2015-16 season and advanced to the Class A semifinals last year.

Now the group is looking to shake off a 0-4 start to make another postseason run.

“We just have to keep this run going,” Philo said. “We are looking to win every game for the rest of the season. We got off to a bad start and that set us back in the rankings. In order to get a good opening round game in sectionals we are going to have to win.”

However, success will not slow down Philo as she still has her senior season to look forward to.

“I try to work out and get shots up every day,” she said. “I am totally happy. I am thankful for everyone who has been there for me throughout the whole process. There are too many to count. I have to thank my teammates and there are people that some don’t even know about like my family and friends that are there supporting me.”

By Paul Wager

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