By ADAM SHINDER
BROADALBIN -- There's rarely any joy to be taken from a 16-point loss that puts an end to a six-game winning streak as the season hits the stretch run.
But, considering that the Broadalbin-Perth High School boys basketball team was facing a bona fide juggernaut Friday night in the unbeaten Scotia-Glenville Tartans, B-P head coach Tucker Gifford and the Patriots could take a little solace in the performance they turned in despite a 59-43 loss.
After all, the Tartans entered Friday perfect in 13 games, including nine in the Foothills Council, and had beaten their league opponents by an average of 46.9 points -- including a 38-point victory over the Patriots when the two teams met on Scotia-Glenville's home floor in December. The 59 points B-P allowed were the fewest Scotia-Glenville has scored this season, and the 16-point margin was the closest the Tartans have been held to in league play.
"I'm proud of the way we played. We worked very hard and we tried to match their intensity -- and that alone is a hard thing to do -- but I think we did a pretty good job of that," Gifford said. "Are we happy about a 16-point loss? No. But, we also felt like we were right there. We had a legitimate shot. I think everybody was writing us off, and everybody's writing everyone off against Scotia, but we gave them a test. Unfortunately, I feel like there were a few opportunities we just didn't capitalize on."
University at Albany commit Joe Cremo scored 19 of his game-high 27 points in the second half for Scotia-Glenville (14-0, 10-0 Foothills), while Alex Sausville added 11 points. However, the Tartans struggled to establish an offensive rhythm for much of the night and hit just four 3-pointers -- well below their average of nearly eight per game.
"I credit our bad night shooting to their defense," said Tartans coach James Giammattei. "Shots weren't falling, but let's give credit to their defense. They were tenacious enough to get their hands up and really contest everything."
Ryan Dingman scored all of his team-high 14 points in the second half for B-P (9-5, 6-4), while leading scorer Andre Taylor struggled to establish himself after picking up two early fouls and finished with just six points. Connor Pingitore and Preston Taylor picked up the slack off the bench, with Pingitore finishing with 11 points and Taylor adding eight.
The Patriots kept in contact early, leading 8-7 after the first quarter thanks to a buzzer-beating baseline 3-pointer from Pingitore, but Scotia-Glenville took control with a 13-4 run to open the second quarter. That helped the Tartans open up a 26-17 halftime lead, and B-P never got closer than six points in the second half, with S-G utilizing bursts of five or six points in a row to expand the lead.
"We were right there, and that one little stretch killed us," Pingitore said. "They went on a run and we couldn't answer. That's really what it all came down to."
"We just couldn't put a string of consecutive plays together, and I think that would've made a big difference," Gifford added.
The loss snapped a string of more than a month without a loss for the Patriots, who hadn't been beaten since Dec. 20 -- in their first meeting with the Tartans. Now, with four games remaining in the regular season against four Foothills teams the Patriots already own wins against this season -- Glens Falls, Johnstown, South Glens Falls and Hudson Falls -- finishing the season on another hot streak is vital for B-P's positioning in what should be a Section II Class B playoff field loaded with quality.
" We played our hearts out, but we've just got to capitalize on some things and we can work better in practice," Preston Taylor said. "We need these next four games that are coming up."
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