Setting the Scene: We can call Thursday’s schedule more of a “reschedule”, as the slate of games was nearly wiped out entirely in anticipation of Winter Storm Diaz. The Foothills Council is hockey tough, though. Some game times were slightly altered, but the league’s schedule remained intact. This one came close enough to a last-minute decision that I even hit the road to go north before changing my mind & coming here instead. Out of the three games I had narrowed to, only one featured a team I hadn’t seen yet this season in Scotia. They hosted South Glens Falls, the most talented on paper and safe-to-say frontrunner in the Foothills heading into the winter. Both came off Monday league wins.
South Glens Falls 54, Scotia-Glenville 28
75 Words or Less: The Bulldogs & Tartans enter this year in two different stages of program development, and a ready-made South High team looking to contend now handled business on the road. They steadily pulled away to a 15 point lead at the break, then tore it open as the 2nd half progressed by holding Scotia scoreless for a 10+ minute stretch spanning most of the 3rd/4th quarters. Kate McDonough was a force & dropped 22 for SGF.
THE FULL STORY
The hosts had a couple lengthy scoreless stretches. One started at the opening tip and allowed South High to jump to an early lead. Mary Fitzsimmons (SGF 2023) opened the scoring and Kate McDonough (SGF 2023, Saint Anselm commit) added two buckets in a 7-0 stretch to give the Bulldogs some early separation. The Tartans got on the board just under the 3 minute mark in the opening frame with a Sierra O’Malley (Scotia-Glenville 2026) three, and the basket opened a little more for both teams late in the quarter. South Glens Falls eventually held a 15-9 edge through the first eight.
The lead extended, but disaster struck for South Glens Falls early in the 2nd quarter as longtime standout Sydney Hart (SGF 2023, Hamilton commit) went down at the 6:46 mark after making a layup. She walked off but didn’t return after the finish that made it 19-9. The margin hovered around 10 for much of the quarter before the visitors stretched it slightly leading into intermission. A 6-0 spurt including two free throws & a bucket from McDonough pushed it to 15, and they traded three more points with a Keeley Kristel (Scotia-Glenville 2025) trey – her second of the quarter – to go into the locker room up 32-17.
Scotia’s 5th three of the evening came at the 4:59 mark of the 3rd off the hand of Karaline McCarthy (Scotia-Glenville 2024). Unfortunately for them, that’s all they could muster for most of the half as South Glens Falls imposed their will & broke it open. They scored the last 12 of the quarter with the duo of McDonough and Liv Killian (SGF 2023) combining for most of it, and Rori Novack – the only Bulldog that hadn’t scored at that point – ended the quarter with a bucket to give them a 48-20 lead. Their run extended to 18-0 as they kept Scotia out of the books for much of the 4th as well, with two more McDonough buckets and a Jordan Wolfe (SGF 2026) drive & finish stretching their lead to as much as 34 at 54-20. Scotia ended a 10+ minute drought with a Riley O’Malley (Scotia-Glenville 2026) make with 2:35 left, and they proceeded to score the game’s last eight points with Riley scoring six of them.
Kate McDonough was a presence throughout the night and led all scorers with 22 points. She was the only double-digit scorer for either team in this matchup. All eight players in uniform scored for South Glens Falls. Karaline McCarthy paced the Tartans with 9 points.
Next Up: South Glens Falls goes back into Foothills North mode next week with Schuylerville coming to town Monday and a short trip north to Glens Falls on Thursday. Look for a January 3 matchup against Saratoga Springs to be their next intriguing matchup. Scotia finishes 2022 with a 5 game in 11 day stretch. Next week features two Foothills South games as they head to Johnstown Tuesday and welcome a solid Broadalbin-Perth team Thursday. Their holiday break week includes two at the Mohonasen tournament and a nonleaguer at Schalmont.
- From a matchup standpoint, this is about what I expected. I usually don’t go to games where I know the result will likely be lopsided, but the situation was what it was – light schedule with many weather postponements, self-preservation a prevailing thought in my head (not wanting to drive through hell to get to Buffalo or somewhere that the schedule looked more complete), knowing my weekend schedule may take me all over creation, and my desire to get eyes on a young Scotia team/pop in on SGF prevailing over watching Shea-less Queensbury against Hudson Falls and a second trip to Schuylerville this week. These are just two programs in different stages of development. South Glens Falls had moments but also took lumps in years past as they tried to build around Syd Hart & Kate McDonough, who have a combined 9 years of starting/impact level experience between them and are now seniors with set plans to continue competing collegiately. Scotia-Glenville is a team of youth that they hope can positively rebuild & grow over time. Same league & same class, but SGF is in ‘contend now’ mode while also setting the stage for the future and Scotia is in ‘lay the foundational bricks’ mode.
- Small sample sets, one game this year vs. one game last year, but Scotia did look considerably better Thursday night than when I watched 12 months ago. Private/prep transfers have hurt them as they had developed one of the area’s top young cores of talent at the youth levels, but they still have a solid 2024 in Karaline McCarthy young pieces with potential to build around in Keeley Kristel (2025) and Riley/Sierra O’Malley (2026). I want to say they’ve had 5 varsity coaches in the 9 years I’ve had EST running – perhaps they get some more tenured stability at the head of the program with current coach Macie Howard who I think is in Year 2. Between size, location, depth of athletes in district, and numerous other factors, this is a program that you expect to be successful within the Foothills. Looks like steps forward this year and hopefully that will continue in the future.
- This is a matchup that on paper, in the layup lines, on the court, wherever you saw them line up, you would expect Kate McDonough to have her way. She had her way. The Saint Anselm bound 6’2″ forward operated with her back to the basket & facing up, kept numerous possessions alive, snatched several offensive rebounds, added some putbacks to her point total, showed some comfort attacking off the dribble and even helped break pressure at times. 22 points in the books and no area of the game at either end in which she didn’t impact positively. The Hawks have recent history of prominently featuring their bigs, and they’ll look to develop Kate to assume the role that current sophomore and Section IV native Melanie Hoyt (Stamford & NY Havoc alum like Kate) currently holds.
- Always hurts seeing someone go down and gut-wrenching when it’s someone that puts major time & effort into this game that you’ve gotten to know well over time. Best wishes to my girl Sydney Hart – someone that almost everyone feels like they have a good relationship with because she’s just that kind of a soul – hoping for a speedy recovery/return for her & everyone’s sake.
- There are bands, and then there’s Scotia’s band. No band Thursday night… big blow. That’s all I got!