The regulation four quarters wasn’t enough to decide it. One overtime didn’t decide it. It took two overtimes before Schalmont came away with a 62-58 win over the Amsterdam Lady Rams basketball team Thursday night at Amsterdam High School.. And while four points were all that separated them, the two teams were equal in heart, soul, toughness and teamwork. It was also senior night for Amsterdam’s Monica Rouse, Keely Santiago and Gabby Mitchell.
“She’s the heart and soul of this team,” Amsterdam coach Eric Duemler said of Monica Rouse. “Having her back brings a calming influence to the team.”
Rouse was effective at both ends of the court picking up a game high eleven rebounds to go with seven points, three steals and four assists. Rouse would pick up four points and a pair of assists to Nina Fedullo keeping the Lay Rams in front at halftime 18-16. Fedullo would finish the game with 25 points and both she and Rouse had to play much of the game with four fouls.
“Overtime was tough for us with four fouls,” said Rouse “A game like this was easier for us to push it.”
Schalmont would tie the game on their first touch in the third quarter on a basket by Ryanne Olsen. Rouse would later grab a rebound and convert a three point play for a 24-18 AHS lead. Keely Santiago’s jump shot would later put AHS up 26-22
“Keely’s a tough, physical, vocal leader,” Duemler said. “I’m very proud of her. She’s come a long way.”
Rouse and Fedullo would ignite a 6-0 run pushing the lead to 30-22. Guiliana Pritchard’s first points gave Amsterdam it’s largest lead at 32-24. Rouse’s put back made it 35-24 after a rebound from Gabby Mitchell.
“Gabby is one of the hardest workers in practice,” Duemler said. “She’s the epitome of a team player.”
Amsterdam would take a 35-27 lead into the fourth quarter. Schalmont’s Hailee Metzold scored eleven points in the second half before fouling out.
“Hailee was hurt earlier this season and she’s just started to come back,” Schalmont coach Jeff Van Hoessen said. “She takes the team on her back. She’s taken on that role.”
Metzold’s absence on the court meant someone else needed to step up. Olsen and Rachel Strijek connected on three point shots to tie the game at 45-45 and force overtime.
“These girls kept shooting,” said Van Hoessen. “I told them to keep putting them up and they stayed with it.”
Tralyn Randle’s three point shot gave the Lady Sabres a 52-46 lead in the first OT. Amsterdam’s Nina Fedullo’s last points would pull AHS to 52-50 before she fouled out with 35 seconds left. Down 53-51 after an Olsen free throw. Amsterdam’s Kaitllin Devine would drive the court and tie the game at 53-53 forcing a second overtime. Caitlin Gannon’s basket would give Amsterdam the lead once again, and a free throw by Pritchard made it 56-54, but the final margin would be determined by Schalmont’s Madeline Saccocio.
“Their number five (Saccocio) had six critical points in OT” AHS coach Duemlerr said. “It put them over the top.”
Saccocio tied the game on a driving layup with two minutes left then gave Schalmont the lead at 58-56 moments later. Devine answered for AHS with a drive of her own tying the game but a collision at mid court led to her fouling out. She finished with 11 points. Free throws by Saccocio and Olsen were the deciding margin. However nothing would take away from the effort as both teams left it on the court.
“First off, his kids played unbelievable” Van Hoessen said of the Amsterdam team. “It was fun to watch. It was their senior night and they played awesome…they wanted to win. Our kids responded. It was fun to watch.
“This was a great game,” Duemler said. “I’m proud of the girls. It was a great effort. I can’t ask any more from our kids. All we can do is learn from it. If they bring that effort like tonight I’ll take them any day of the week.”
The Lady Rams will finish the regular season on Tuesday at Bishop Maginn then await their seeding for sectionals.
Below are seniors Gabby Mitchell, Monica Rouse, Kelly Santiago with family and friends. Photos by Scott Mulford.