Though they were in the same round, playing the same opponent in the same Class A regional final, with the same stakes – a trip to the state final four in Glens Falls – on the line, it was not the same satisfying outcome for Bishop Ludden’s boys basketball side.
Scotia-Glenville, vividly remembering how the Gaelic Knights beat them a year ago at SRC Arena, got full payback by dominating from start to finish and beating Ludden 72-44 last Saturday night at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy.
A full fountain of motivation was not the only advantage Scotia enjoyed on this night. At 22-0 and no. 1 in the state Class A rankings, the Tartans gained confidence from a season’s worth of smashing anyone in its way, led by the tandem of junior forward Joe Cremo and senior guard Alex Sausville.
Also, Scotia was at full strength – something Ludden could not match, since junior forward Jack Rauch was sidelined by the ankle injury he suffered a week earlier at the Carrier Dome in the Section III final against Jamesville-DeWitt.
Dan Kaigler did score the game’s first basket on a three-point play, and it was 8-8 in the early going. But it would not be so close again.
Sausville, who had 17 first-half points, took full advantage of Ludden’s defensive focus on Cremo, as he led an outside shooting barrage that didn’t let up until the Tartans had closed the first quarter on a 16-3 run.
All through the second quarter, the Gaelic Knights tried to make up ground. Every time it got a basket, though, Scotia answered, especially when it was 36-26 as the Tartans got the last six points o the half, including one more Sausville 3-pointer. That made it 42-26 at the break.
Cremo made sure Ludden was put away by scoring the first seven points of the third quarter on his way to 17 points for the night, the margin growing to 58-34 as the shell-shocked Gaelic Knights never were able to recover.