SCHUYLERVILLE — Just when you thought Joseph Girard III was done breaking records, the New York State Mr. Basketball nominee found yet another way to keep everyone asking how.
On Schuylerville’s charcoal-black floor, with a fitting large orange “S” in the middle, the Syracuse-bound Girard set the Section II single-game scoring record Friday night by netting 69 points. That broke the previous record of 67 set by 1965 St. Joseph’s of Albany graduate Rich Campoli.
Glens Falls needed every bucket, too, as the Indians narrowly beat the Black Horses, 98-83, in a Foothills Council game that was close until the very end.
Playing in what Girard called “the most hostile and fun” environment of the year, he buried 10 triples, bruised up for 11 2-pointers and made 17 of 21 free throws.
“Right after the game, people were telling me I had 70 points and I thought they were exaggerating,” Girard said. “But now coming out here, realizing it — wow. It is pretty cool and all, but the win is more important.”
Neither the win nor the record came easy.
Girard was icing himself as soon as he left the locker room due to the physicality of a hounding Black Horses defense, which fed off its sold-out, standing-room-only crowd.
At halftime, Girard was tied with Schuylerville, 45 points apiece. As a team, though, Glens Falls had 58. But the Black Horses rallied as guard Cayden Rutland hit five 3-pointers, and seniors Stratton Sherman and Paul Harshbarger each added 20.
Foul trouble forced Rutland to exit the game. Considering there were several stretches where he was matching Girard 3-pointer for 3-pointer, his absence swung the game.
Schuylerville held Girard to nine fourth-quarter points, but Indian role players stepped up, including Connor Girard, who hit a spinning layup to seal the game with two minutes to play.
Of course, JG3 got the icing on the cake with a record-breaking layup and some free throws to close it, but Glens Falls (15-0, 17-1) escaped a hornet’s nest.
And its reward is a dance for the league title Monday night at one-loss Gloversville.
“A lot of people thought it was going to come down to us and then, we can either win outright or tie for the league if they beat us,” Girard said. “They got great shooters, and play year-round as a team so it will be another dog fight inside a packed gym.”