By Keith Harrington
Hitting foul shots is a a crucial element of winning a basketball game. Never was that more evident than the Granville boys basketball team season opener on Monday night. The Golden Horde struggled from the charity stripe as South Glens Falls left the Granville High School Gym with a 54-50 non-league win.
"We were six for seventeen from the foul line. We preach foul shooting every day," Granville coach Justin Nassivera said. "To lose a game by four when you shoot such a terrible free throw percentage, there's no excuse for that."
Things looked promising for the Golden Horde for much of the first three quarters. Granville led 12-11 after a quarter and the lead swelled to as much as 28-15 late in the second quarter. South Glens Falls got a 3-pointer from Ethan Vasak to pull within 28-18 at the break.
Eveytime it seemed that Granville was on the verge of blowing the game open, the Bulldogs continued to fight. A 6-0 run capped off by a Caleb Nelson trey expanded the advantage to 47-37 early in the final stanza. Again South Glens Falls responded. The Bulldogs ripped off an 11-0 run with a Brady Smith bucket giving them a 48-47 lead, their first since 3-2 in the early going.
Granville regained the lead on a Caleb Nelson basket to make it 49-48, but a banked in 3-pointer by Landon Casey gave the Bulldogs a lead they would not relinquish with 1:50 remaining.
"We played pretty well for the most part," Nassivera added. "They banked in a three to take the lead. That kind of sucked the life out of the gym.
Peyton Viger salted the contest away for South Glens Falls by hitting some clutch free throws down the stretch.
"Overall I'm not upset with our guys. It's a non-league game. It doesn't hurt us," Nassivera said. "We turn around and play Argyle tomorrow night. "They're the defending league champs. We'll use this team as a stepping stone going forward."
Smith led South Glens Falls with 18 points, 16 of them coming in the second half.
Viger added 12, Jack Gutkowski nine and Casey seven.
Caleb Nelson finished with a game-high 33 points for Granville. Cody Nelson chipped in seven.
South Glens Falls is 1-2 Granville is 0-1.
Photo Credit-Stacie Arnhold