By ROB JONAS

 

TROY – A near-perfect performance in the first quarter catapulted No. 5 Gloversville past No. 4 Queensbury 68-56 in the Section 2 Class A quarterfinals Sunday, February 25 at Hudson Valley Community College.

 

The Dragons (15-6) made seven three-pointers on nine attempts in the opening period to build a 26-11 lead on the Spartans (14-7). Queensbury never got any closer than five points the rest of the day.

 

“That's what we've been doing all season,” said Gloversville head coach Aric Kucel. “We're a three-point shooting team, and we came out hot early.”

 

“You can't shoot the ball any better than they did. It was their day,” said Queensbury coach Doug Fraser.

 

Sophomore guard Dante Bouchard broke the ice for Gloversville with a traditional three-point play – a driving layup and a free throw – before the barrage of first quarter three-pointers commenced. Sophomore guard Joey Rowback sank his first two attempts from behind the arc, and junior guard Julien Deumaga added a pair of open threes to put the Dragons ahead 15-7. Anderson Jones made a coast-to-coast layup before Deumaga and Bouchard knocked down three more three-pointers to build Gloversville's 15-point lead.

 

“It was good. It set the pace for the rest of the game,” said Bouchard, who led all scorers with 31 points.

 

Queensbury made a run at Gloversville in the second quarter. A pair of three-pointers by senior guard Cam Bleibtry and a driving layup by Jeff Van Anden trimmed the deficit to 33-28, but Bouchard drove baseline for a quarter-ending basket to give Gloversville a 35-28 advantage. Queensbury never got any closer than seven points the rest of the game.

 

“We hung around, but it was an uphill climb the whole game,” said Fraser. “It was grind for us today. Nothing flowed.”

 

Kucel credited a strong defensive effort from Gloversville, which limited Queensbury to shooting 39 percent from the field, including a 7-for-28 performance from behind the three-point arc.

 

“We know if we want to win a championship, we have to do it at the defensive end,” said Kucel.

 

Deumaga contributed 15 points, and Rowback added 11 points for Gloversville, which advances to the Class A semifinals Wednesday, February 28 at the Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls.

 

Cam Bleibtry paced Queensbury with 19 points, and sophomore Bryce Bleibtrey added 18 points.

 

 

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