Monday, February 16, 2015

Thoughts From The Press Box: Foothills Council Championship

And the band plays on ... and on ... and on
First and foremost, congratulations to the Glens Falls Indians and the Scotia Tartans on their league championships.

With that being said, let's begin with the Girls Foothills Championship.

The Glens Falls Indians did what they needed to in order to avenge their loss to Amsterdam back in January.  They stayed out of foul trouble, which yielded the biggest statistical difference between the two games...

In the first meeting, Amsterdam made 30 free throws on their way to a 12 point win over the Indians at Glens Falls High School.  This time around, it was only 7.

Huge difference from the first time around, and it showed on the scoreboard by way of the 49-40 win for the Glens Falls Indians.

Amsterdam, to their credit, kept the game close.  After being down by 12, they tightened the gap.  When the Rams closed to within 6 points in the fourth quarter, the concern became whether or not the Glens Falls Indians would be able to seal the victory.  A steal prevented Amsterdam from closing any closer, as the Indians defense came up big when they needed to in the late stages of the game.

Glens Falls did something that no other Section 2 team was able to do this season, beat Amsterdam.  The Rams came into the game with a 16-2 record, with both of their losses coming north of the border, up in MontrĂ©al during the Thanksgiving weekend.

The win should help boost Glens Falls up to a #1 seed in the Class A sectionals.  The Indians would have been in consideration for a good seed for Sectionals, but having the league championship to their credentials helps set them up for a more favorable quarterfinal round matchup should they gain the first round bye.

SCOTIA: Fundamentals at its best

Having a single great player is good and all, and there are many teams out there who have a great scorer, but those teams will tell you that it takes more than one spectacular player in order to become a title contender.

The Scotia Tartans are five phenomenal athletes on the court.

People like to focus on Joe Cremo, the U-Albany bound senior for the Tartans.  And for good reason, the kid averages nearly 28 points per game, one of the best in Section 2, and is Scotia's greatest scorer ever.  But the reason why Scotia has won 45 straight games is because he isn't the only one making plays.

Scott Stopera used the long ball to help boost his stats on Friday.  Six threes shows what happens when you leave him unguarded outside the arch.  Mike Palleschi make the Queensbury Spartans for leaving him untagged inside the lane.  Diamond Corker has the speed to drive the lane with ease, and Joe Almond compliments the offense with another three point threat.

Those five make for trouble for opposing defenses.  When all five players are on the court, defenders have to stay on top of all five, otherwise they could give up the easy bucket.

When on offense, they pass the ball all over, looking for gaps in coverage to find an easy shot.  They're patient, not rushing to take the shot that might be unwise to take.

Watching the Scotia Tartans is a thrill.  It's fun watching them set up and do their thing.  That's why you should make the effort to catch them play at the Civic Center should ... no ... when they come back to play in March in the Sectional Semifinals and Finals.

Pep Band Party

Speaking of Scotia, special thanks to their pep band who made the journey up to Glens Falls.  As I stated on the air, having the pep band play during timeouts help increase the atmosphere at a game, something that's been missing at many high school venues across the area as funding for extracurricular activities such as band diminishes.

I grew up going to a high school that had a band at the home football games.  The energy from the band electrified the environment.

That's why it's great to see when a school has a pep band.  And judging by the response from the Scotia Pep Band on Twitter, they appreciated hearing the kind words that people had to say regarding their appearance at the Glens Falls Civic Center on Friday night.

The Pep Band is another reason why when Scotia comes back to play in March at the Glens Falls Civic Center, you should stop by and check them out.

Other Musings

Congratulations to the Lake George girls and boys, winners of the Adirondack League Championship on Saturday at Queensbury High School.  The girls win was a stunner, as Fort Edward entered the game undefeated and one of the top ranked teams in New York.

The boys was expected, as the Warriors defeated Fort Ann by 4 in overtime in the meeting on January 9th at Fort Ann.  Joe Wincowski inches closer to Jimmer Fredette, now 20 points behind the current New Orleans Pelican.

That Round of 16 game for Lake George may well be the most-attended Round of 16 game in sectional history as Wincowski looks to top Fredette's record of 2,404 career points scored.

And as we wait for the pairings to be released by the Section 2 seeding committee on Wednesday, we will have a prediction on where teams will get seeded on our blog on Tuesday.

After the pairings have been released, we will make it known where we will be next to cover local high school sports on FOX Sports Radio 1230.

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