Onondaga As part of the state boys basketball championships this weekend at Glens Falls, Bishop Ludden boys basketball head coach Pat Donnelly will get inducted into the New York State Coaches Hall of Fame.
By the way, Donnelly will be working, too.
The Gaelic Knights are back in the state final four, this time at the Class A level, after defeating Scotia-Glenville 58-53 in Saturday night’s regional final at Onondaga Community College’s SRC Arena.
“It will be great to have the team down there,” said Donnelly, looking ahead to both the festivities and a chance at back-to-back state titles to go with the Class B state crown earned in 2012. “We’re going to savor this one.”
Aside from wanting to make Donnelly‘s Hall of Fame weekend more special, Ludden was trying to stop a Scotia-Glenville side carrying a perfect 22-0 record into the regional finals, the Tartans having made its name by pushing the tempo as much as possible.
Immediately, the contrast in styles was evident - the Gaelic Knights comfortable in a half-court set, S-G intent on running at every opportunity. Twice off made Ludden baskets in the first quarter, the Tartans sped up the court and answered within seconds.
Defensively, S-G surrounded Dan Kaigler in the paint, but he still managed six points in the first quarter, aided by a pair of 3-pointers from Cameron Littlejohn as they played to a 16-16 draw.
They remained tight through the rest of the half, through five ties and six lead changes. Ludden, helped by six second-quarter points from Ben Hackett, inched in front 30-27 by halftime.
S-G’s sophomore sensation, Joe Cremo, had 11 first-half points. But though he added two more baskets early in the second half, he and his S-G teammates could not get the same kind of fast-break chances, Ludden abandoning its full-court pressure to go a half-court set.