One could never tell that the Scotia-Glenville boys basketball team's season had ended in defeat Saturday afternoon at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.
Once the Tartans' 90-61 loss to Section III champion Jamesville-DeWitt in the Class A regional final was over and all the certificates and awards were handed out, the players ran across the court to mingle with students that had made the long bus trip west to the Syracuse suburbs. Smiles, not tears, defined the moment.
Scotia-Glenville had come a long way, starting with the fact that it had won its first Section II title since 1975, and nothing was going to spoil that accomplishment especially a loss to a team heavily favored to repeat as state Class A champions this weekend in Glens Falls.
We are not going to let this ruin everything we did," head coach James Giammattei said. "We just ran into a much better team. If they (J-D) play like they did today, they're not going to get beat."
By themselves, J-D superstars Alshwan Hymes and Brandon Triche nearly outscored the Tartans. Hymes set a new career mark with 32 points, including eight 3-pointers, while Triche " who is going to Syracuse University next fall " dropped in 28 points.
Going in, Giammattei knew his team's task would be tall. J-D had won 42 of its last 43 games and wanted to play at a breakneck tempo.
"With J-D, you've got to pick your poison," Giammattei said.
So the Tartans chose to play a zone defense, locking up the Red Rams' 6-foot, 8-inch freshman center DaJuan Coleman, while keeping Triche from driving to the net. At the same time, they dared J-D to beat them with outside shots.
At first blush, it seemed to work. Playing with fire and energy, Scotia-Glenville took a couple of brief leads and stayed within range during the first quarter as guard Joe Ferrari began to riddle J-D with hot three-point shooting.