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Lady Rams basketball start strong, defeat Gloversville

When the final buzzer sounded at the end of the Amsterdam Lady Rams varsity girls basketball game with the Gloversville Lady Dragons on Monday night,  the scoreboard told the story: Amsterdam had moved past their loss to Glens Falls on their home court nearly two weeks ago. The Lady Rams made a strong statement in the first quarter and never looked back in defeating their league rival 78-58 at Amsterdam High School.

“Taking a loss will do that to you,” Amsterdam coach Eric Duemler said. “We don’t want a loss to linger. We have refocused on trusting each other.”

Unlike the first meeting of the two teams back in mid- December at Gloversville High School, the rematch was never close. The Lady Rams used a 13-1 run after the opening tip to take the lead and built on it from there. Giuliana Pritchard got things started for Amsterdam scoring seven of her season high 24 points in the first quarter. Elena Fedullo, Maria Lomanto, and Nina Fedullo all scored during the initial surge to put the Lady Rams in front to stay.

“We wanted to come out strong against Gloversville and get on them early,” said Nina Fedulo who scored a game high 30 points and 16 rebounds. “We did that tonight. We were looking forward to this game and I’m happy we came away with a win after taking a loss at home to Glens Falls.”

Leading 17-8 after the first quarter, the Lady Rams opened things up with another run in the second. Pritchard scored the first seven points of the period, and after a pair by Nina Fedullo the nine point explosion had Amsterdam ahead 18 with barely two minutes gone by in the frame. Kerri Hauser netted two of her team and game high 13 free throws to stop the run, but a trend began that would continue for much of the game; whenever the Lady Dragons scored, the Lady Rams answered and did so emphatically. Nina Fedullo responded with a drive on an assist from Brady Santiago, and then answered a pair of Hauser free throws moments later with a pull up jumper from ten feet. The largest Gloversville run in the first half was six points, all on free throws by sophomore guard Harmony Philo.

“We got some good looks at the basket,” Gloversville coach Molly Swan said. “We expected hem to double up on Harmony (Philo), but defensively it just slipped away from us.”

Philo lit up the Lady Rams for 26 points including four- three’s back in the first meeting in December, but was held to just the six free throws in the first half, and 15 points for the game with only one three point make on a shot late in the third quarter with AHS up 62-40. Keeping Philo in check was clearly part of the Lady Rams game plan.

“We knew going in Harmony (Philo) is a good shooter,” Nina Fedullo said. “We needed to know where she was on the court at all times to minimize her three point shots.”

The small run generated by Philo’s foul shots disappeared in the next minute when Lomanto connected from long range on back to back possessions for AHS giving the Lady Rams a 36-20 lead at the half. Lomanto scored all 15 of her point from behind the arc for a season high five triples. However, Lomanto wasn’t the only one finding the range as Pritchard swished in a season high three triples as part of her 24 points.

“An advantage for us is Giuliana (Pritchard) can shoot threes,” Coach Duemler said of the junior forward who normally does most of her scoring closer to the rim, but has continued to work on her game and now has added long range shots to her set of skills.

“We have kids who can shoot if they are taking good shots,” Duemler said.

Pritchard and Lomanto dialed in from long distance again in the third quarter as Amsterdam built a 50-26 lead. Santiago also connected from behind the stripe during a 26 point outburst in the eight minute frame as the Lady Rams went on to make a season high nine – three point shots. Nina Fedullo netted 11 of her game high total in the period as Amsterdam led 62-40 headed into the forth quarter. Even with all that scoring it wasn’t difficult to find a common denominator, and that came in the form of an assist, nine of Amsterdam’s season high 19 from point guard Lucia Liverio.

“The girls know how to find their teammates and that comes with trusting each other,” Coach Duemler said. “Lucia (Liverio) has good vision and she can find her temmates.”

Liverio assisted on Pritchard’s final three in the early minutes of the fourth quarter capping a 6-0 run to start the period that also saw Pritchard assist on a play by Nina Fedullo, putting AHS up 68-40. A pair of driving lay ups by Nina Fdullo and Lomanto’s last three gave the Lady Rams their largest lead at 75-42, yet Gloversville continued to play strong and went on a 14-0 run late in the game to cut into the deficit resulting in a “double-double” performance from junior forward Kerri Hauser and a strong effort from sophomore Kendra Lavery.

“Kendra (Lavery) has really stepped up for us with the loss of Jasmine (Gonzalez), Coach Swan said. “We’re proud of her for the hard work she has put into the game.”

Gonzalez was injured in the first meeting with the Lady Rams and Gloversville needed someone to come in and get the job done under the boards. Lavery nearly had a “double-double” with nine points and ten rebounds. Hauser complimented that effort racking up a team high 11 rebounds to got along with her 23 points, also a team high, along the way netting free throws in every quarter.

“Kerri (Hauser) did a phenomenal job from the free throw line,” Coach Molley Swan said.

Hauser made 13 of Gloversville’s 28 free throws and was 13 of 15 from the line. Overall, the Lady Dragons connected for a remarkable 28 of 31 foul shots. Had it not been for the power surge from Amsterdam’s Nina Fedullo, Pritchard, and Lomanto, who teamed up for 69 of the teams’ 78 points, the game could have been much closer, and a free throw percentage as high as what the Lady Dragons’ put up would have been a factor. Many of those free throws came after an Amsterdam run keyed by points in transition. Another factor that helped the Amsterdam cause was that as a team they committed only nine turnovers, and as usual they caused more from their opponent.

“We just had to work hard and execute,” Coach Duemler said. “We were able to pressure them and got tips and deflections and then ran in transition.”

Having a good lead throughout the game also gave the Lady Rams a chance to get their bench involved and once again Amsterdam had all ten players contribute at least one point or one rebound .Brady Santiago added three points and two rebounds, as did Elena Fedullo. Grace Catena added two points and six rebounds, Janina Sjoberg scored on a free throw, Lucia Liverio,Taylor Flint, and Gianna Derosa each had at least one rebound.

“Everybody has something that they can bring,” Giuliana Pritchard said. “It’s tough for opposing teams to guard us. We’re a well rounded team.”

Gloversville got five points from Alex Benfatti, and three points each from Gabby Brown and freshman junior varsity call up Maddie Jones. Gabby Langley had one rebound for the Lady Dragons.

Amsterdam (13-2 overall, 9-1 Foothills Council) is back in action tonight at Niskayuna. The Lady Rams picked up their first win of the season with a 53-34 win over the Suburban Council team back on Novermber 30, 2016. Now they look to build momentum heading into sectionals, and earn a coveted number one seed the Section 2 Class A tournament begins in less than three weeks. Amsterdam will also play its toughest league rival, Scotia-Glenville on Thursday.

“We’re not going to think about Scotia-Glenville until we get past Niskayuna,” Coach Duemler said. “We want that number one seed.”

Tip time for the varsity contest at Nikayuna High School is scheduled for 6pm. The varsity game on Thursday at Scotia- Glenville High School is set for 7pm. Amsterdam will honor five seniors Monday, February 6 on “Senior Night” at Amsterdam High School when the Lady Rams face Broadalbin-Perth. It will be the last regular season home game for Nina Fedullo, Grace Catena, Brady Santiago, Maria Lomanto, and Janina Sjoberg.

Lady Rams JV win 45-41

Yarlyn Toro scored all nine of her points in a crucial fourth quarter run to lead the Amsterdam junior varsity over Gloversville 45-41. Yariana Toro (6 points), and Grace Patrei (5 points) also contributed in the final eight minute surge. Mady Carmona and Antonia May each had nine points in the winning cause. Jareymarie Aponte scored four points, Kayli Hoefs scored two points, and Madison Wojcik added one point for Amsterdam which led 12-11 after one quarter, but trailed most of the way, falling behind 17-16 at the half, and 29-27 after the third quarter. Glovesville was led by Alecea Jones’ game high 12 points. Daley Jo Christman added nine points, Katie Hastings chipped in with eight points, Caroline Iannotti had six points, Cassidy Widermulty added four, and Sidney DeMagistris scored two points for the Lady Dragons.

Lady Rams hosting three basketball clinics

The Amsterdam Lady Rams basketball program will host three free basketball clinics for girls in grades 2-8. The clinics will be held on Saturday’s in February from 10am- 12pm at Amsterdam High School with players and coaches of the Amsterdam High School teams serving as instructors. The dates for the free clinics are February 4, 11, and 18. Parents can register their child on the day of the clinic. For more information on the clinics contact Amsterdam Lady Rams varsity coach Eric Duemler at eduemler@gasd.org

About Scott Mulford

Scott Mulford has been covering local sports for over 20 years. He previously wrote for the Amsterdam Star and The Free Press of the Mohawk Valley.

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