It would make sense that a game between these two rivals would come down to the final shot.
With nine seconds remaining the Johnstown Sir Bills trailed by three points. They put the ball in the hands of guard Mathew Boyle who dribbled right and elevated over the contested hands of several Gloversville Dragons defenders.
“We drew it up to get those two [Boyle and Ethan Wager] a look at it but we also had safety valves ready if we didn’t get the right shot,” said Johnstown head coach Phillip Satterlee.
The shot would clank off the back rim and allow all Gloversville fans to let out a huge sigh of relief.
Leading up to the final possession, Johnstown would come within one point following a Wager and-one-layup. Wager would miss the game-tying free-throw and would send Gloversville’s Joey Rowback to the free-throw line.
Rowback would make both free-throws and force the Sir Bills to draw up a play for a game-tying 3-pointer.
“Those two free-throws were huge and clutch for us, he’s big-time,” said Gloversville head coach Aric Kucel.
Starting off the game, it was the Boyle and Dante Bouchard show. Bouchard would explode in the first quarter for 17 points with the help of four-made three pointers.
Boyle would get rolling offensively with 11 first-quarter points and a deep three to open all scoring. Wager would add nine of his 21 points as the Sir Bills would trail 22-23 as the first quarter expired.
“Having Dante and Joey are a huge luxury to have as a coach and the same thing for Phil [Satterlee] with Boyle and it was a big-time performance for all of them and they all played amazing basketball tonight,” said Kucel.
In the second quarter, the Dragons would turn to their big man Rowback, who would reward them with 10 of his 26 points on the night. Gloversville would then go into halftime with a 44-38 lead.
In the second half, Johnstown began to feed the ball inside as their big man Keegan Feinour would add eight points in the quarter and spark their comeback. he would end with 16 points.
“Depending on the defense that we ran it was a battle of personnel where they did a good job at getting Keegan off the court because we had to play small to keep up with them but then when we were able to swing the ball back in our favor and get Keegan his touches and make it our advantage,” Satterlee said.
Gloversville would halt Boyle from getting going in the quarter with only two third-quarter points.
“We wanted to do a better job at staying in front of Boyle and keeping a hand up with him and switch some things and show him some different looks,” said Kucel.
Coming to the rescue for the Dragons was Bouchard as his ability to hit threelong-range shots as well as a key lay-up, resulted in 11 fourth quarter points and enough cushion to hold off the comeback from Johnstown. He would end with a game high 37 points.
For Johnstown, unfortunately, it drops their record to 3-5 after they just knocked off one of the top teams in the Foothills Council last Tuesday. They will return back home next Tuesday when they host Hudson Falls.
“I’m really proud of their effort today, we thought played our best basketball game last game but that’s not the case anymore because we played our best basketball game tonight,”Satterlee said.
With this big win over their rivals, Gloversville moves one step close to achieving their second goal.
“Every game matters and we are fighting for the Foothills title, but when it is a Gloversville-Johnstown game, you throw the records out the window because it is a rivalry game and it will always be a battle,” Kucel said.
Gloversville 79, Johnstown 76
Johnstown 22 16 24 14 — 76
Gloversville 23 21 17 18 — 79
Stover 2-2-6, Frasier 2-0-4, Wager 8-2-21, Massey 1-0-2, Boyle 11-0-24, Feinour 7-2-16, Miller 1-0-3. Totals: 32-6-76.
Bouchard 13-3-37, Deumaga 1-1-4, Ruggeri 1-0-2, Rowback 9-6-26, Jones 4-0-10. Totals: 28-10-79.
3-point goals: Johnstown 6 (Ethan Wager 3, Matthew Boyle 2, Abraham Miller); Gloversville 13 (Dante Bouchard 8, Joey Rowback 2, Anderson Jones 2, Julien Deumaga).