Getting to Know the State Champs (Audio)
In the days where some people just use high school athletics as a venue to get to college athletics, it’s sometimes hard to remember what is so great about high school sports.
It’s the camaraderie of playing with the kids you grew up with. Playing with your best friends, in front of your best friends. It’s about wearing your school colors with pride and it’s about having your community triumph in your wins with you.
The Scotia boys’ basketball team just finished a perfect 27-0 season. They took home every piece of hardware possible and gained many Capital Region fans along the way – for good reason.
They captured a Class A sectional title. A New York State Class A Regional title. Then they got the Class A state title.
And then they threw in the Class A Federation title for good measure. They won 21 of their 27 games by 20 points or more.
And they embodied the perfect team. They moved the ball; they cared about the team. The starters cheered for the reserves when they were in. They hyped up the crowd. They were the perfect reminder of why high school sports are so great.
Today I spoke with Scotia stars Joe Cremo, Dom LeMorta, and Alex Sausville about what made the team and season so special. As usual, excerpts of each interview will be put in the body of this article.
What the Season Meant
What Made Scotia So Good?
Obviously, pure basketball talent and the hard work that accompanies it. But moreso than anything, it was an undeniable team chemistry. This team was a true team. They knew where each person was on the floor and they were unselfish. Different guys stepped up on different days and no one was upset if they didn’t light up the box score that day – because they always won.
Listen to Cremo and LeMorta talk about how the team chemistry got that way:
Head coach James Giammattei pushed all the right buttons. His team respected him and they always played hard for him. On the X’s and O’s side, he had the right answers. You have to be pushing all the right buttons to go 27-0. The guys who don’t get the recognition for the Tartans are assistants Mark Sausville, one of the most accomplished coaches in Section II history, and Glenn Stopera, father of point guard Scotty.
Listen as Sausville talks about playing for his father and what LeMorta says about the staff.
Remember what I said up top about high school sports being great because your community can rally around you? That’s what this team had. Undeniable community support, a great student section, and even a great pep band that traveled to every game.
Listen to the appreciation the players have for their supporters:
Sausville, LeMorta and Schuyler Sales will graduate, but Scotia will return three starters. But in typical Scotia fashion, listen to what Cremo had to say about this senior class, and what his message to them was before the Federation tournament.