James A. Ellis/for the leader herald
Gloversville — The Gloversville Dragons found a way to pay tribute to the fallen alum and senior players during an emotionally charged night in the Gloversville High School gymnasium.
After paying tribute to seniors and Todd Wheaton with a moment of silence and chants of “Wheat Dog, Hey Hey Hey” from the student council, the Dragons will face intercity rivalry at the Foothills Council men’s basketball game on Tuesday. defeated Johnstown 49-41.
“It was a special night in many ways,” said Gloversville manager Ed Culler. So, in honor of Todd, there were all kinds of emotions going on tonight. They could have lost the game, but they stepped up and won.”
Wheaton died last week in a snowmobile accident on Lake Peck.
The teams fought to a 13–13 draw in the first eight minutes of play, with James Collar scoring 10 points at Gloversville and Braden Jones scoring 8 at Johnstown.
Sir Bills took the lead early in the second quarter with a basket from Matthew Willis and a 3-pointer from PJ Yett. The Dragons responded with eight points from Mariano Dicaterino and four from Rocco Insonia to give the locker room a narrow 29-25 point lead at halftime.
Johnstown took the lead early in the third quarter with an Elijah Jones shot and a Brayden Jones shot and a 3-pointer to take the lead 32-29.
They responded with an 11-0 run and built a 40-32 lead heading into the final eight minutes of play.
“Our focus wasn’t great,” says Ed Collar. “We tried to get the ball to the shooters early on. Midway through the third quarter, players like Cal Porter and Dom Dorman sparked off the bench, Rowan Halloran and Rocco Insonia. We had good sparks in the second half and ran to the end of the game.”
The Dragons pushed the lead to 11 with a Dorman 3-pointer in the first minute of the final quarter to hold off Sir Bills for a 49–41 victory.
“I give them credit. They put pressure on us to make mistakes in the second half and they took advantage of it,” said Johnstown manager Phil Satterley. “We worked hard but they said they just made us work tonight. A 50-50 ball looked like he went 75-25.”
Braden Jones led the scoring for Sir Bills with a game-high 23 points, including five 3-pointers, while Elijah Jones had two 3-pointers on a seven-point effort.
“I was trying to get the ball out of Braden Jones’ hands,” said the color coach. “Every time Braden got it, we doubled it and made him give up. And at least we were scoring close to 70 every game, but then we realized we weren’t contributing much to the offense, scoring 49. Our offense was stagnant and Johnstown defended well. have suffered some tough losses but they’re right there and trying to get over the top.They’re fighting against any team.The fact that they’ve continued to push all season and are playing good basketball right now is great. It is an achievement of
James Collar led Gloversville with 18 points, Dicaterino added 15 hits and Insonia added 13 rebounds and 8 points.
Sir Bills have two regular season games left, both at home against Broad Alvin vs. Perth on Friday and Scotia vs. Grenville on Tuesday.
“We talked at the beginning of the year that there will be ups and downs during the season. [60-58 OT victory]’ said Satterley. “It tells me they have that fight. I’m sure.”
Gloversville has three regular-season games remaining on the schedule: Scotia-Glenville on Friday, Schuylerville on Tuesday and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake on Wednesday.
Both teams will head to the Foothills Council showcase at the Washington Avenue Armory in Albany on February 12, before participating in the Section II postseason tournament.
Johnstown 13 12 7 9 — 41
Gloversville 13 16 11 9 — 49
Johnstown scores: B. Jones 8-2-25, E. Jones 3-0-7, Hoyt 2-0-4, Yett 1-0-3, Willis 2-04. Gloversville score: Ja. Culler 5-8-18, Dorman 1-0-3, Dicaterino 6-1-15, Halloran 1-2-5, Insonia 2-3-8. Team total points: Johnstown 16-2-41. Gloversville 15-14-49.