Late rally lifts B-P past Ichabod Crane

BROADALBIN – Trailing by 10 points early in the fourth quarter, the Broadalbin-Perth Patriots were looking for a spark to start a run at Ichabod Crane.

They got it from an untested source, freshman junior varsity call-up Connor Pingitore.

Pingitore came off the bench and hit three 3-pointers, triggering a 15-4 fourth-quarter run to lift Broadalbin-Perth past the Riders 41-38 in a Section II Class B first-round game Tuesday night at Broadalbin-Perth High School.

“It was a struggle from the beginning through the second quarter, through the third quarter and to about three-and-a-half minutes gone in the fourth quarter,” Broadalbin-Perth Coach Tucker Gifford said. “Sometimes all it takes is one guy to hit a big shot and the bank was open tonight and that bank turned our fourth quarter and turned our sectional game around. Connor Pingitore coming fresh off the JV was fearless. We lived to see another day and that was our goal. We wanted to play on Friday night.”

The eighth-seeded Patriots (9-10 overall) advance to the Class B quarterfinals at 8 p.m. Friday night where they will face top-seeded Watervliet at Hudson Valley Community College.

Jordan Gleason connected for 40-points to lead the Cannoneers past No. 16 Greenville 87-47 and into the quarterfinals.

In other Class B action, No. 4 Catskill defeated No. 13 Fonda-Fultonville 79-58; No. 2 Schuylerville beat No. 18 Granville 60-43; No. 7 Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk topped No. 10 Hudson 70-44; No. 3 Mekeel Christian rolled past No. 14 Hudson Falls 84-45 and No. 6 Cairo-Durham defeated No. 11 Schalmont 55-45 to reach Friday’s quarterfinals.

Neither team could find an offensive rhythm in the opening period due to a smothering baseline-to-baseline press by the Patriots and an active 1-3-1 zone by Ichabod Crane. Despite a limited amount of good looks at the basket by both team, the Riders held a 9-8 edge at the end of the period.

The Patriots’ high-pressure defense began to take its toll in the second period as the fouls began to mount, putting Preston Taylor, Mark Sylvia and Andre Taylor on the bench with two fouls each.

Stephen James picked up his game in the second quarter, s coring six of the Riders’ 14 points, all on the inside, the give Ichabod Crane a 23-18 edge at the break.

The Patriots trimmed the lead to two, 23-21, early in the third quarter on a Ben Bellandi basket and a Chris Natoli free throw.

The Riders broke B-P’s momentum with a three minute 9-0 run to open a 32-21 lead before Andre Taylor connected to break the run.

The Patriots chipped away at the lead, getting it down to six, 32-26 with 1:20 left in the period before James his a basket and came up with a block on Taylor in the closing minute to help give the Riders a 34-26 leading heading into the final eight minutes.

James hit again, quickly putting the Riders up 36-26 before Preston Taylor hit a pair of free throws to take the lead back to single digits, 36-28.

Pingitore made his varsity debut with just over five minutes left in the game and got his first open look and varsity points, a 3-pointer with 4:32 remaining to bring the lead down to five.

Just over a minute later Pingitore struck again from behind the arc to close the gap to 36-34 with 3:25 remaining.

The Patriots defensive pressure got the stop it needed and Andre Taylor came through with a 3-pointer to give B-P its first lead since midway in the first quarter, 37-36, with 2:43 remaining.

James tied the game at 37 with a free throw before the 5-foot-6 Pingitore delivered his third 3-pointer from the left corner to open a 40-37 lead with 1:55 left on the clock.

Seth Scarano hit 1 of 2 free throws late in the period to cut the lead to 40-38 and James intercepted a pass into the lane to set up a final minute play for the Riders, but a shot by Steven Rybka fell short and Bellandi beat the Riders to the rebound.

The Riders got one last chance when a Patriots pass went over the end line with 29 seconds left.

Rybka brought the ball up court before passing to Shaun Davis, who was immediately pressured, forcing him to pass the ball back to Rybka who put up an attempt from 3-point range that fell short. Again, Bellandi scrambled to get the rebound and was fouled with 2.3 seconds left to play.

Bellandi converted on the first of two free throws and got the rebound on his missed second attempt to secure the 41-38 victory.

“It is a game of breaks, but you have to play defense and make some breaks yourself,” Ichabod Crane Coach Will Ferguson said. “We had one stretch when they were making those threes that we had three or four turnovers. I can’t fault my team, they played a good game tonight; we just got sloppy. If we don’t stay within the parameters of what we set up in the 1-3-1, like a couple of times our point man got a little too far left or too far right and it left gaps. They were able to penetrate the gaps and either get the skip pass or the put down.”

James led the Riders (8-11 overall) with 13 points on the night, while peter Pesano, Davis, Rybka and Brian Pulsifer chipped in with six points apiece.

Andre Taylor led the Patriots’ scoring with 11 points, while Pingitore finished with nine points and Bellandi and Natoli both had seven.

“Their zone gave us fits most of the night,” Gifford said. “It was a different style and we couldn’t get the looks we wanted. We went back to our basic motion offense and got better looks in the last five minutes than we had all night. We told the three guys we called up that they might get a chance to get in the ballgame and we had some other guys step up like Zach Newfrock who went in, boxed out and was physical.”

Broadalbin-Perth 41, Ichabod Crane 38

Ichabod Crane9 14 11 4 – 38

Broadalbin-Perth8 10 8 15 – 41

Ichabod Crane

Pesano 2-0-6, Davis 2-2-6, Rybka 3-0-6, Pulsifer 3-0-6, James 6-1-13, Scarano 0-1-1. Totals 16-4-38.


Bellandi 3-1-7, Natoli 3-1-7, Pingitore 3-0-9, A. Taylor 4-1-11, P. Taylor 1-2-4, VanBrocklin 1-1-3. Totals 15-6-41.

3-point goals: Ichabod Crane 2 (Pesano); Broadalbin-Perth 5 (Pingitore 3, A. Taylor 2).