Rams top Schuylerville, Lady Rams remain unbeaten

The Amsterdam Running Rams boys varsity basketball team put 11 players in the scoring column Tuesday night at AHS in a 76-50 victory over the Schuylerville Black Horses.

“We got everyone in to play,” Amsterdam head coach Tony Orapello. “A lot of people contributed.”

The Rams came into the contest short a day of practice after Monday’s storm closed most area schools and on the heels of a loss to the defending state Class A champion Scotia-Glenville Tartans last Friday in Scotia. The Rams played like a team on a mission from the opening tip.

Marcus Pritchard got things started for AHS scoring on a drive to the basket for an early 2-0 lead. Schuylerville’s Joseph Vanderhoof and Rams guard Kory Bergh traded layups before Black Horses’ Dante Langley connected from long range for Schuylerville’s only lead of the game at 5-4. Bergh then took control and along with teammates Andrew Druziak and Brian Stanavich led AHS on a 14-1 run putting them in front to stay. Bergh, a senior, drilled a pair of three point shots to give Amsterdam leads of 7-5, and 14-6, assisted on Andrew Druziak’s triple, and threw a long pass to Stanavich for two more. Amsterdam led 26-11 after one period with Bergh scoring 10 of his team high 14 points in the first eight minutes.

“We came out to play like we’re supposed to,” coach Orapello said. “And this after not having Monday to practice because of the weather. We got good shots from outside.”

Amsterdam’s front court took center stage in the second quarter. Keenan Holloway scored after a basket by Black Horses Zachary Pierce putting AHS up 28-13. A pair of free throws by Bergh got Amsterdam to 30 points before Langley cut into the lead on Schuylerville’s next two trips down the floor. The Black Horses senior forward finished with a game high 21 points and five rebounds. Strong play at the rim by Pritchard and Hector Rodriguez boosted the AHS lead to 35-21. Pritchard then took a pass from Druziak and put it home for the Rams biggest lead of the night at 16 points, 37-21. Bergh and James Valentin also scored in the closing minutes of the half keeping AHS in front 41-26.

“Our inside game was scoring,” Coach Orapello said. “Hector Rodriguez got some nice shots in the middle, and our guys up front were scoring.”

Rodriguez continued to have the hot hand scoring Amsterdam’s first seven points of the second half eventually putting AHS up by 17 points at 45-28. However, Schuylerville still had plenty of fight left in them and made a run midway through the third quarter. Langley connected for a three and assisted on a shot by Vanderhoof sparking an 8-2 run that concluded with a triple by Clayton Patrick cutting the lead to 50-40. but, they would get no closer. Rodriguez’s drive to the rim, a jumper by Dale Stanavich after a turnover, and Anferny Aponte’s basket following a steal put the Rams back up by 16. Langley had nine points in the quarter for Schuylerville but Amsterdam finished strong. Jemal Robinson scored on put back and Aponte sped down court for two more when Brian Stanavich caught him wide open after a steal. AHS was in control, 60-44 with one quarter to play.

“Tonight, they were still a tough team,” Rams senior forward Marcus Pritchard said of Schuylerville.”They came out strong and this was not an easy game for us.”

Play was so fluid in the third quarter that each team committed only one foul. At the game’s end, neither team was in the bonus shooting free throws. Amsterdam got more contributions from its bench in he fourth quarter. Ben Rhodes scored five points including one triple, Dale Stanavich also connected from long range for three more, and Jemal Robinson scored four of his eight total points in the frame. Matt Fedullo and Gehrig Garner collected rebounds in the Rams cause.

Rodriguez’s 13 points were second to Bergh’s team high, followed by Aponte’s 12 tallies. Robinson added a pair of rebounds to his total, and Pritchard ended his night with seven points and five boards. Druziak, Rhodes, and Dale Stanavich each had five points. Brian Stanavich finished with three points and five rebounds, and Holloway and Valentin each had two points for AHS. Clayton Patrick finished with nine points, and Vanderhoof dropped in eight for the Black Horses. Amsterdam will return to action Friday at Broadalbin-Perth.

“Our game with B-P is something we are not taking lightly,” said Pritchard. “We know they could smack us, so we have to focus on the game and not take them lightly.”

Amsterdam and the Patriots met back on December 16, 2014 with the Rams prevailing 76-53. Everyone contributed in that game as well with 12 players finding the basket. Kory Bergh led the way with 19 points. Eight Patriots players got on the board in that contest led by ten points each from Connor Pingitore and Evan DiMaio.

“The Broadalbin- Perth team is tough on their own court,” coach Orapello said. “Tomorrow we will be back at work in practice.”

Amsterdam improves to 9-2 in the Foothills Council, and in second place in the South Division behind Scotia- Glenville. The Rams are 12-4 overall. Tip time for Friday’s game at Broadalbin-Perth High School is scheduled for 7pm.

Lady Rams stay unbeaten

The Amsterdam Lady Rams varsity basketball team also won on Tuesday defeating Schuylerville 64-27. The victory improves their record to 11-0 in the Foothills Council, and 14-2 overall. Amsterdam has clinched first place in the Foothills Council South Division and a spot in the crossover game on February 13 at the Glens Falls Civic Center for the overall league title. The Lady Rams have won 14 in a row and will host Broadalbin-Perth this Friday on Senior Night.

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.