The Glens Falls girls basketball team learned an important lesson in Tuesday night’s regional semifinals: adjust to the officiating.
The Indians struggled with foul trouble for most of the game, but still came through when it mattered, as they held on for a 57-49 victory over Canton.
That propelled Glens Falls (21-2) into Saturday’s Class B regional final against Beekmantown (21-1), scheduled for noon at the Plattsburgh State Field House. The winner advances to the state final four next weekend at Hudson Valley Community College.
Indians coach Mark Girard reminded his team in practice earlier this week to play within the officiating, something they had to get used to in their first trip outside Section II.
“That’s part of it — it is going to be called different,” said Girard, whose team is ranked fourth in the state. “You have to adjust to how the game is being called. We may play more zone (defense) or less aggressive than we’d like to play. You still want to play your game, but some of those chances you normally take, you can’t.”
“Our coach told us the refs are going to call it differently up here, so we have to adapt to them, they’re not going to adapt to us,” sophomore forward Sophie Tougas, who fouled out early in the fourth quarter, said after Tuesday’s game.
The real challenge facing Glens Falls, however, will be Beekmantown, which is led by 6-foot-3 center Brooke Bjelko and guard Kenna Guynup, seniors who average 17 and 16 points per game, respectively. Bjelko netted 25 points and Guynup had 20 in the Eagles’ 58-42 Section VII championship victory over defending champ Northeastern Clinton on March 3. Alyssa Waters and Jordanne Manney are solid guards.
The Eagles, ranked eighth in the state, lost only to Whitesboro in a non-league game, and also defeated South Glens Falls 51-47 in a Coaches vs. Cancer game in early December. Last season, Glens Falls defeated Beekmantown 44-32 in the Indians’ holiday tournament at the Civic Center.
“We’ve seen them against South Glens Falls and Northeastern Clinton, and I like our matchups,” Girard said. “We know what to expect, they want to dump everything inside to the big girl. With Sophie being 6-foot, we’re not overmatched with 6-3.”
Sophie Tougas leads Glens Falls with 17.9 ppg, followed by her sister, senior point guard Lucy Tougas (11.7 ppg) and junior forward Taylor Scarincio (8.7 ppg). Lucy Tougas and Scarincio factor heavily in the Indians’ rebounding stats.
On Tuesday, the Indians played well down the stretch, holding Canton to two points in the final 4:29 of the game. Lucy Tougas finished with 20 points and Sophie Tougas added 15, while Scarincio, Felicity Williams and Sovereign Strickland came up with key baskets and rebounds.
“The girls have bought into their roles,” Girard said. “We’ve broken it down to one game, one quarter at a time, and now we have 12 quarters to go — and we still have not played our best game yet. They all just have to click one time.”