JOHNSTOWN — After the start of Season 5-1, the Johnstown girls’ basketball team has reached a difficult point.
The Lady Bills lost for the sixth time in their last nine appearances on Thursday, dropping a 51-48 decision against Schuylerville in a Foothills Council game at Johnstown High School.
“It was quite a struggle,” said Schuylerville coach Jason Mehan. “We’ve had a lot of close games this year that could have gone either way, but they weren’t in our favour. It was nice to come out as the winner this time.”
Macey Koval finished with 16 points leading Schuylerville, while Amanda Pflieger added 11 points.
Jaden Wilson scored a game-high 21 points for Johnstown, while Abby Chest added 10 points.
The Lady Bills played without their second leading scorer – Jaidyn Chest – sidelined due to COVID protocols.
“It would have been nice to win tonight. This is a momentum stopper,” said Johnstown coach Tim Derwin. “Everyone is kind of in the same boat when it comes to COVID, but when you only have eight girls like us, it’s a lot harder.”
Without Jaidyn Chest, the team’s primary handler, in the lineup, the Lady Bills struggled on the floor, spinning the ball 27 times, including nine in the fourth quarter.
“We really struggled to look good in the fourth quarter,” Derwin said. “We had too many turnovers and we wanted to make passes that weren’t there. We just didn’t get a good look at the longest part of the fourth quarter and it’s hard to win games like that.”
While the Lady Bills have had their battles lately, Schuylerville claimed its second straight win. After breaking a six-game losing streak with a 59-23 non-league win over Stillwater on Tuesday, the Black Horses turned it into two straight wins on Thursday.
“Johnstown has had some good shots and they are a good, well coached team,” said Mehan. “We missed a lot of layups and free throws tonight. We were able to survive that and take the win.”
After dropping a 48-39 decision for Lady Bills at home on December 13, the Black Horses quickly started the repechage.
Schuylerville took a 9-3 lead in the first five minutes of the game.
The Lady Bills managed to regroup and finished the opening quarter with a 10-2 run to take a 13-11 lead.
Johnstown carried its momentum into the second quarter, moving to a 25-14 advantage with a 12-3 blowout.
Like the Lady Bills did in the opening frame, the Black Horses ended the first half with a flourish, beating Johnstown 15-5 in the final 3:30 to trail 30-29 at the half.
Koval scored six points in the second quarter for Schuylerville, while Sadie Tavares added five points in the frame.
The back-and-forth battle continued into the second half, with the Black Horses starting the third quarter with a 6-0 run, but Johnstown answered with a 9-0 outburst.
The quarter ended with Schuylerville taking a 40-39 lead in the final frame.
The Black Horses extended their lead in the final quarter, taking a whopping eight point lead before Johnstown mounted a late rally that fell short.
“We didn’t play well. A lot of it was casual mistakes,” said Derwin. “With only six girls playing tonight, fatigue definitely played a part. The girls just crashed into the wall tonight.”
Johnstown (8-7 in total, 8-6 Foothills) will travel to Broadalbin-Perth Monday for a Foothills Council game at 7pm. The Lady Bills then travel to Fonda-Fultonville for a non-league game on Tuesday, followed by a trip to Glens Falls on Thursday.
“It’s hard, but it is what it is,” Derwin said. “We’re going to try and find the silver liner and get ready for a busy week next week.”
After beating the Lady Bills on Thursday, the Black Horses are looking to continue their recent success in the final weeks of the regular season.
“This game felt like a sectional game,” said Mehan. “We want to build some momentum in our last few games.”
Schuylerville (4-10 overall, 3-9 Foothills) is scheduled for Gloversville on Monday at 7pm
Schuylerville 11 18 11 11 – 51
Johnstown 13 17 9 9 – 48
Schuylerville Score: Barton 2-1-5, Buff 1-0-2, Cilione 1-0-3, King 1-3-5, Koval 7-2-16, Schwartz 1-0-2, Tavares 3-0- 7, Pflieger 4-1-11.
Scoring from Johnstown: Ahern 2-0-4, Bermas 3-0-6, A. Chest 3-3-10, Hisert 3-0-7, Wilson 8-2-21.
Score Totals: Schuylerville 7/20/51, Johnstown 5/19/48.
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Categories: High School Sports, Sports