Recreation basketball championship highlights


CJ Durinick’s shot with ten seconds left gave the Cotugno Dental team a 40-39 victory over the top seeded and unbeaten Amsterdam Mohawks team in the championship game of the 5th and 6th Grade Boys division in the Amsterdam Recreation Basketball League. The game was part of an all day event at the Bacon Elementary School recreation center on Saturday where five of the six division titles were decided.

Durinick called for the ball as time winded down then drove to the basket while closely guarded by a defender. He took a shot a few feet from the hoop and it fell through. Cotugno Dental protected the one point lead and pulled off the upset. The shot excited the capacity crowd on hand to watch and set the tone for the rest of the day.

“These boys as individuals had the talent and by the end of the season they learned how to play as a team,” Cotugno Dental coach Aaron Cotugno said. “They struggled throughout the season until they learned how to play as a team. Each boy on this team just wanted to win. They did what they had to do.”

Durinick finished with eight points. His teammate Peyton Ausfeld led all players with 16 points. Nick Hernandez (8pts.), and Tony Cheney had eight points for Cotugno Dental. Carson Cotugno, Nick Antonelli, John Wolff, Elijah Pereicich, Dom Foglia, and Miguel Jusiro all helped the winners.


Jacob Greco led the Amsterdam Mohawks with 13 points. Matt Murphy (8pts.), Alejandro Chhristopher (6pts.), Cayden Gravely (7pts.) and Jesus Rivera (4pts.). Matt Hughes, Ryan Hotaling, Andrew Welch, Ryan Welch and Ethan Diaz all contributed to the Mohawks undefeated regular season.


Kelly’s Imperial Lanes 31 – Senator Tkaczyk Girl Power 23


Andie Gannon poured in 18 points leading Kelly’s Imperial Lanes to the title of the 3rd and 4th Grade Girls division. Jadyn Wilson scored nine points, Antonia May scored five points and played outstanding defense. Gabriella Kelly, Maggie Hughes, Leah Carella, Gianna Carella, Jocelyn Kaczor, and Anializ Melendez all helped the top teams cause throughout the season.

“The girls learned defense, shooting the ball, and the basics of basketball,” Kelly’s Imperial Lanes coach and current Amsterdam varsity player Caitlin Gannon said.” I think all the girls improved. All of them will be good basketball players one day.”

Jackie Stanavich led Senator Tkaczyk Girl Power with nine points and 17 rebounds. Natalie Flint scored ten points and Ashley Krohn added four points. Helen Flint, Sophia Derosa, Dawn Taylor, Gracie Gibson, Karolina Pizarro, Sophia Pizzaro and Brianna Kelly all helped the Girl Power cause.

“They started to play together,” Senator Tkaczyk Girl Power coach Tom Stanavich said of his team that had come into the contest on a six game win streak. “They started sharing the ball.”


Schwartz Law Firm 52 – 518 Grille 42


Zahki Fallen’s 28 points helped top seeded Schwartz Law Firm break open a one point game at halftime and the 3rd and 4th Grade Boys division title. Andrew Spagnola scored eight points, Luca Quuatrini (6pts.), Salvatore Conti (5) and Jacob Nasadowski had five points for the winners. Nate Corey, Nick Corey, Preston Schwartz and Jasin Kaminski all contributed to the teams’ winning season.

“We wanted to teach them there are nine guys on this team and how to interact with each other and with the coaches,” Schwartz Law Firm coach Steve Conti said. “They learned how to play as a team and they supported each other and had fun.”

Tyrell Douglas led 518 Grille with 27 points. Dereck Carella (2pts.), and Ceasar (13pts.) rounded out the scoring. Marc Schultz, Ryan Reasen, Lucas Kiskis, Julian Torres, Donovan Colon, and Alexis Santiago all helped their team during the season.

“Teamwork, definitely learning how to play as a team,” said 518 Grille coach Damien Carella on the reason for his team’s success. “ We had a little rivalry going with this team. They learned how to play as a team.” The previous three times the title contenders had met were each decided by two points or less.


PBA 72 – Amsterdam Family Practice 53


Lou Fedullo’s 22 points and Tyler Nelli’s 19 points boosted PBA to victory in the 7th and 8th Grade Boys title game. The two teams were separated by only four points at the half but PBA enjoyed success under the boards on both ends of the court.

“I think we played hard and focused,” PBA coach Lou Fedullo said. “The kids said they wanted to win and came out and proved it.”

Jesus Rivera had 13 points for the winners. Nick Shaw added seven points, Nick Agresta four points and Anthony Ramos had two points. Adam Noce, Jon Schultz and Frank Staley all helped the PBA cause.

Andre Jackson led Amsterdam Family Practice with 19 points. Niico Orengo had 12 points, Ryan Gannon (10pts.), Richard Gannon (5pts.), Randy Spraker (2pts.) and Anthony Vicinanzo had five points. Tone Gilonna, Nico Montalvo, Vernin Handy, and Andrew Bracchi all helped their team’s success.

“They practice hard and played hard,” Amsterdam Family Practice coach Kolbie Gilonna said. “They were all athletes.”


Bethany Schumann McGee Law 33 – Cassella Co. 31


Coming off an upset of the top seeded team and trailing by only two at the half the Cassella Co. team tried to become the Cinderella team of the championships. Lucia Liverio would have the final word though as she scored her teams’ last five points in the closing minutes of the 6th- 8th Grade Girls title game and gave the win to Bethany Schumann McGee Law.

“First of all the girls get all the credit,” Bethany Schumann McGee Law coach Leo McDowell said. “They were great. They played good defense. Defense, defense, defense was the key.”

Liverio led all scorers with 16 points. Emma Patrei had 12 points and Alexis Bottomley had two points for the winners.

Taylor Flint had seven points, Katrina Nordby and Hailee Alicea each had six points, Micheal Kelly had five points, and Mackenzie Lindsay had two points for Cassella Co.

‘They just continued to work hard and came ready to play,” Cassella Co. coach TJ Czeski said. “They gave the effort every time they took the court. It was very gratifying to watch them play and improve.”

Maria Bottisti, Marina Rivers, Niicole DeRose, Madison McDonell, Alexis Hazzard, Mackenzie Farina, and Braden Dutcher all played well for their teams.

Only one game remains in the 2013-2014 Amsterdam Recreation Basketball League season. The Boys 9th-12th Grade division championship game is set for Monday night at the Bacon Elementary School recreation center.

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.