The Amsterdam Running Rams boys basketball team used a 22-0 run in the first half against the Hudson Falls Tigers to power their way to a 83-43 victory in a game that saw four AHS players scoring in the double digits.
“Once we started going, we all started working toward the win,” Amsterdam’s Willie Brown said. “After Friday we needed to get back in the gym and get back to work.”
Amsterdam lost its first game of the season last Friday at Glens Falls, but on Tuesday against the Tigers, Brown led the Rams with 17 points, many of them coming close to the rim. Ozzie DeJesus (16 points), Louis Fedullo (14 points), and Ryan Bradt (15 points) also scored in double figures for the Rams. However, it took a few minutes for them to get rolling.
Neither team got on the scoreboard until the 5:35 mark of the first quarter when Hudson Falls’ Schuyler Russell made a short jump shot putting the Tigers ahead 2-0. Brown scored the first of his ten points in the opening period with a put back close to the rim knotting the score, but Hudson Falls went up 5-2 after a three-point basket by Connor Hermanson. It was the Tigers’ last lead of the game however as Amsterdam began its decisive run with a pair of three throws by Brown followed by long distance three from Jeffrey Brennan. Both Brown and Fedullo then scored as the Rams accounted for the last 14 points of the first quarter to go up 16-5.
“Our execution was much better,” Amsterdam coach Tim Jones said. “When we push the ball in transition we do well.”
The Running Rams really turned up the energy to start the second quarter with DeJesus taking a pass from Brown strong to the rim for two of his 12 points in the period. DeanAnthony Colon got on the scoreboard after forcing one of several Tigers turnovers improving the lead to 20-5. Fedullo and DeJesus completed the game changing run hauling in offensive rebounds and then making good on the second chance scoring. Amsterdam was up 24-5 with over five minutes left in the half before Jonathan Beagle scored for the Tigers to make it 24-7. A bright spot for the Tigers, Beagle finished with a game high 20 points. Beagle stood tall in the middle, but the Rams made good on many offensive rebounds and went up 43-18 at the half.
“When we’re rebounding the ball it makes it tough for other teams,” Coach Jones said. “It puts their defense on their heels.
Amsterdam opened the second half scoring the first four points with Fedullo and DeJesus adding to their totals before Hudson Falls went on a mini five point run led by Hermanson (9 points), and Russell (4 points) cutting the lead to 47-23. But, it was just too much to overcome. Fedullo scored six of his total in the third period and Amsterdam eventually went to its bench. Bradt connected for two of his three triples in the fourth quarter, and Anthony Barone- Lopez (2 points), Andrew Giamo (7 points), Kevin Perez (5 points), and Devin Villa Valles (2 points) all got in the scoring column for Amsterdam (5-1).
“This whole season has been a joy coaching this group,”Coach Jones said. “When we get four or five players in double digits we’re good. It was a good night for us.”
The Rams transition game benefited from a good defensive performance where the Rams continued to force turnovers throughout the game. Those steals quickly led to points for Amsterdam.
“It should have been better,” said Brown about the AHS defense. “We could have crashed the boards a bit more, but overall I think it was good.”
Brown, DeJesus, and Fedullo accounted for 21 rebounds for the Rams.
Riley Maddison and Conor Horrigan each had four points, and Alex Varney added two points for Hudson Falls. Beagle and Hermanson each had seven rebounds for the Tigers.
Amsterdam will host Scotia-Glenville on Friday. The Tartans pulled off a 74-73 victory over previously unbeaten Glens Falls to tighten things up at the top of the Foothills Council standings.
“They are a well coached team,” Coach Jones said of Scotia- Glenville. “They have Christian Corker, who has been there forever. They’re a good team.”
Friday’s varsity contest is set to tip-off at 7:30pm.