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-Gloversville 45 -Scotia 36




SCOTIA – Scotia-Glenville High School's gym has been a house of horrors for the Gloversville boys basketball team over the last several years. Time and again, the Dragons entered the Tartans' lair, only to leave with a loss.


That all changed Friday night, Dec. 8. Gloversville used an 11-0 run in the third quarter to take control, on its way to a 45-36 Foothills Council victory over the Tartans.


“It's big. I don't remember when was the last time we beat Scotia at their place,” said Gloversville sophomore guard Dante Bouchard.


The game was a match-up of two young teams – one (Gloversville) which went through growing pains last year, and one (Scotia) that is experiencing them now.


“Last year, we played three freshmen,” said Gloversville head coach Aric Kucel. “Those three (Bouchard, Joey Rowback and Anderson Jones) are now sophomores and showing leadership on the floor. And we're getting good leadership from our three seniors (Esean Brown, Broderick Royal and Buck Galster).”


Scotia coach Mark Sausville has only one player – senior guard Christian Corker – with extensive varsity experience. The rest of the starting five includes two sophomores (David Fresoni and Robert Barrera) and two juniors (Brendan Caldwell and Andrew LaMorta), who have to deal with the weight of expectations that comes with wearing the Scotia uniform.


“It's hard. These (championship) banners are looking down on them every day,” said Sausville. “I just hope the fans are patient with them. They are very good kids.”


The key to Gloversville's victory was stopping Corker. Whenever Corker tried to take a shot, there were at least two Gloversville defenders in the near vicinity getting their bodies in his way or sticking their hands near his face. The end result was an 11-point night for Corker – far below the 24 points he averaged in the Tartans' first two games.


“We just denied him the ball,” said Bouchard, one of the Gloversville players who defended Corker on a regular basis. “We knew he was their heart, so we just tried to deny him every time.”


Corker's determination grew with every shot he missed, but that only led to more mistakes, said Sausville.


“Christian got a little frustrated tonight,” said Sausville. “He's our only returning starter, so obviously he's going to be the focus of other teams' defenses. We need our other players to start scoring.”


Gloversville's one-two punch of Bouchard and Rowback got hot at key times of the game. Bouchard scored eight of his game-high 17 points in the first quarter to help the Dragons (1-2) take an early 10-2 lead. Then with Gloversville trailing 21-18 early in the third quarter, Rowback fueled the Dragons' decisive 11-0 run by scoring seven points, including a wide-open three-pointer from the left corner.


“Those are definitely our two main guys, but we have other guys who can hit shots,” said Kucel. “Dante was huge getting us off to a great start, and then Joey made some big shots for us in the second half.”


Following Gloversville's 11-point spurt, Scotia (1-2) closed the gap to 29-26 on Brendan Caldwell's three-pointer and Andrew LaMorta's driving layup. However, consecutive threes from Bouchard and Rowback effectively put the game out of the Tartans' reach.


“They put the ball in the basket, and they moved the ball around well,” said Sausville. “We defended them pretty well to hold them to 45 points. On the flip side, we have to learn how to put the ball in the basket. You're not going to win too many varsity games scoring only 36 points.”


Rowback scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half to help Gloversville earn its first victory of the season. Caldwell and LaMorta each chipped in with eight points for Scotia.