Section II Weekend Reactions
Last week’s five-overtime, 52-minute Class AA boys’ semifinal between Guilderland and Columbia will go down as one of the best games in Capital Region history.
It’s definitely the best game I have ever seen. And I didn't think I'd ever see another one like it. Especially not so soon.
While Saturday night’s Class A final between Scotia and Troy only went two overtimes, it was every bit as impressive.
Scotia won 77-75. It was a back and forth contest that saw Troy hang with the No. 1 team in the state, fall behind, and then come right back. It saw big shots on both sides, from those you expected and those you didn’t. It saw a triple-double, controversial calls and a game-tying putback attempt go inches away from sending us to a third overtime.
You can read the full game story from Sean Martin of the Times Union, but the gist of the game is right here: My impressions follow.
Scotia led 18-12 after one quarter. They moved the ball incredibly well and found easy shots all over the court. Dyaire Holt was the only consistent scorer for Troy, as I believe he scored nine of the Flying Horses points in the first stanza.
Dom LeMorta picked up three fouls in the first half for Scotia, and spent the last five minutes or so of the first half on the bench. This allowed Troy to come back, bringing the Scotia lead to one at half.
In the third, LeMorta quickly picked his fourth foul, but remained on the floor until fouling out with just over three minutes to play.
While he was on the floor, he proved very effective, hitting four three-pointers in the game. Joe Cremo led Scotia with 26 points and pretty much did whatever he wanted.
Scotia led 56-46 when LeMorta fouled out. Troy came right back, and then got a three-pointer from Radz to make it 58-57 Scotia with under a minute to play. Scotia then sank two free throws before Holt hit a three to tie the game, helping send it to OT.
In the second overtime, Troy led 72-69 after three Radz free throws. But Schuyler Salyes, the sub who replaced LeMorta, hit the second of his two three’s to tie the game.
Troy then went back ahead 75-72 before a Cremo layup made it 75-74. Things then got crazy as Cremo blocked a Troy shot and Scotia went in transition. Cremo drove the lane and kicked out to point guard, Scotty Stopera. Stopera’s shot was well short but Radz was called for a foul. Stopera hit all three foul shots with 5.3 seconds to play.
Radz’ jumper was off the mark and the subsequent follow just rimmed out, giving Scotia the win to remain unbeaten (20-0).
I don’t want to brag, well maybe a little, but the game played out exactly like I said it would on Friday. The proof?
From Troy’s perspective: If they can push the tempo and get to Scotia’s bench, it will be closer than people think.
From Scotia’s perspective: Another day at the office for the No. 1 Class A team in the state. Joe Cremo had 21 points while Dom LeMorta had 18. Scotia also held Kory Bergh to nine points.
If Scotia gets that kind of production on offense and can limit Radz/Holt on defense, Scotia is going to bring home a sectional title.
By getting LeMorta in foul trouble, Troy forced Scotia into using a bench that isn’t very deep. They only have 10 players on the roster.
Troy also was able to get the tempo up and down. Holt had 21 points and Radz had 17. Maurice Watson had 11 and Connor Nicoll had 12. Troy got contributions on offense and defense from everyone that touched the floor. They did everything they needed to do to pull the upset.
Impression Number Two:
Remember two weeks ago, when I said that Anthony Mack of Catholic Central undoubtedly comes back as the best player in the area? It still might be the case, but this was my first real look at Cremo. The Albany-bound junior finished with 26 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. His performance was so effortless that it didn’t even feel like he dominated. He could have gone for 40 if he really forced the issue.
Impression Number Three:
Scotia appears to a true team in every essence of the word. They were fired up, they were supportive of each other, and they trusted each other.
All five players knew where each other were going to be on the floor. They moved without the ball. They were able to create jumpers and get to the lane with ease. They’re still going to be a tough out in the regional.
Just because Class A was the only game I personally saw, the rest of the sectional winners deserve their credit and congratulations.
Class D: Argyle 54, Germantown 49
Three players scored in double figures for Argyle, including 13 from Kobe Lufkin. Is he as good as brother? He had 91 three-pointers this season. We have three more seasons to answer the question.
Class C: Hoosick Valley 57, Spa Catholic 54
Spa Catholic came back from an 11-point halftime deficit to make this a real close game in the final moments. Mike Pierre had 31 from Hoosick Valley while John Rooney had 22. In other words, they scored all but four points.
Class B: Voorhesville 61, Broadalbin 37
Dylan Hensel had 20 points as the Blackbirds rolled.
Final Thought: Although it’s a little far for a lot of Capital District residents, the Glens Falls Civic Center is still a great venue to host these games at. There was a great crowd. The facility is awesome, just like the town.
And finally, Scotia brought a pep band. There were only about seven people in it, and they had the arena rocking. They knew a little bit of everything. I don’t know who the tuba-playing guy in the kilt was, but he was an awesome band leader.