GLENS FALLS — Powered by Joe Girard III’s 50 point outing, Glens Falls handily defeated Scotia-Glenville by a score of 86-60 during the second annual Sunmark Shootout at the Glens Falls Civic Center. This night was especially notable for Girard as he became the first player to ever score 3,000 career points in New York boys’ high school basketball.
“It’s crazy, it’s a great achievement… it’s an achievement that I’ll remember forever” Girard said about reaching 3,000. “We’ve just got to focus on winning like we did tonight. It was a great team win where we were playing hard, and points come with playing hard, so I was just trying to do that tonight and it came as the game went on”.
Although in a losing performance, Scotia-Glenville senior Christian Corker played a great game as well. Corker notched 40 points on the night, including two threes and a total of 8-10 from the line. Junior Brendan Caldwell also had a solid night for the Tartans. He was the only other player to reach double digits, as he had 12 with a three in each quarter.
Scotia-Glenville kept the game close throughout the first quarter. The Tartans did a solid job of keeping Girard III in check over the course of the quarter, as he was only in single digits until about 10 minutes into the game. The Indians’ high-powered offense was able to score 15 in the first, but the Christian Corker-led Tartans held their own and battled back whenever the opposition started to inch away.
Just 22 seconds into the second quarter, Girard demonstrated his athleticism on a tremendously scrappy play. Girard missed his first shot, but then sprinted to crash the boards as he recovered his own rebound before being fouled by Corker. At the line, the locked-in Girard drained both shots. These were Girard III’s first two free throws in a game in which he would finish a perfect 17-17.
As usual, there were stretches were Girard simply could not be stopped. With 4:37 to go in the second, Girard took the ball coast to coast and finished a nice layup in traffic. Upon a defensive stop shortly after, he took the ball down the floor and hit a three while heavily contested by Scotia-Glenville’s defense. During their next defensive trip Glens Falls had another stop, and Girard kept it going with a dish to the Indians’ sole senior in the starting lineup Justin Holness for a layup. Corker then answered back with a three for the Tartans, but then Girard had a beautiful no-look assist to Holness for a wide-open layup on the other end to make it 31-20.
At the half, Glens Falls held the lead over Scotia-Glenville 39-26. It looked to be an uphill battle for the Tartans, and that it was. Glens Falls jumped out to a 7-0 run in the first minute and a half, but Scotia-Glenville responded with six consecutive points, all from Corker. However, Girard stifled a possible Scotia run by knocking down a three and converting both at the line after getting fouled on Glens Falls’ next possession. Girard and the Indians’ proceeded to extend their lead to 67-43 by the end of the third quarter.
One could feel the anticipation in the air as Girard III came ever closer to the coveted 3,000 point threshold; one that had never been reached by a single high school boys’ player in New York. After Girard pulled up to nail the three which brought him to exactly 3,000 in addition to 48 on the night, the crowd went wild. Even those supporting Scotia-Glenville showed respect towards Girard as he received thunderous applause for this remarkable accomplishment. Girard ended up scoring two more points en route to the Glens Falls victory, which was especially rewarding as they lost to Scotia-Glenville by just a point earlier in the season.
“It was a momentum booster,” Girard said about the win. “We had a letdown the last time we played these guys, but we tried not to let that happen this time because we know we had to win out in order to win the league. We have to seal the victories like we did tonight, and this just gives us confidence going into the playoffs”.
With Joe Girard III being an unbelievable high school basketball player, he recently has been receiving offers from top-level schools such as Michigan, Oklahoma, and Syracuse. When asked about playing at the next level, Girard said he’s “going to be one of the smallest guys out there so, (he’s) going to have to have the biggest heart and most toughness and leave it all out there”.
Girard’s exceptional talent and work ethic have already brought great things throughout his high school career, as Glens Falls is gearing up for a deep playoff run this season, now at 15-2 this year whereas Scotia-Glenville (8-8) isn’t as likely. Scotia-Glenville played hard the whole game but Joe Girard was just too much for them.