A team captain is recognized as a leader, someone who’s performance on the court inspires his teammates to victory. Friday night at Gloversville High School, Taylor McCredie came out in the fourth quarter and took the ball to the basket scoring the first four points to help Gloversville pull away from Amsterdam winning 65-54 in a battle of Foothills Council South division rivals.
“Taylor is our team captain and we are a better team when he plays aggressive,” Gloversville head coach Aric Kucel said. “He was aggressive from the start tonight.”
Entering the fourth quarter the Gloversville Dragons led the Rams by the slimmest of margins at 43-42. McCredie came out strong taking control of the ball on Gloversville’s first two possessions scoring each time to put the Dragons in front to stay. The boost in momentum was just what the home team needed, and it was contagious.
Gloversville outscored Amsterdam 22-12 in the final period getting 11 points from senior Alex Reppenhagen including a long distance three-point goal that put the Dragons up by double digits 61-50 with 1:26 left to play. McCredie and Sam Poulin tipped away passes and created turnovers that led to points by Reppenhagen and Jacques Nails allowing Gloversville to pull away.
“We were active in our zone defense,” Coach Kucel said. “Our energy and hustle caused the deflections. Our energy because of how we communicated was up.”
Gloversville’s defensive pressure and communication kept Amsterdam working feverishly to get the lead. The Rams trailed 32-26 at the half, but outscored Gloversville 16-11 in the third quarter finally inching out in front 38-36 after five straight points by Tysean Hanna. McCredie tied the game on the next trip down the floor for the Dragons followed by a drive to the rim by Jacques Nails. Amsterdam fought back with Hanna grabbing a rebound and taking it the distance for two more tying the game at 40-40. Hanna added the foul shot for a one point lead for the Rams, and Kory Bergh added another after a technical foul was called on Gloversville, but that was Amsterdam’s least lead. Poulin came up with a steal on the next play and Broderick Royals’ three put Gloversville up 43-42 at the end of three. Fouls also began to cause problems for an Amsterdam team already hampered by injuries. AHS strarters Gehrig Garner and Keenan Holloway went to the bench with four fouls before the end of the third period. Matt Fedullo joined them early in the fourth.
“We were limited because of injuries,” Amsterdam head coach Tim Jones said. “It was getting kind of thin on the bench and when you add the fouls it made things difficult. We just didn’t adjust accordingly.”
Amsterdam executed better in the first quarter and took a 12-10 lead after one. Baskets by Garner, Bergh, and Hanna put the Rams up 6-2 before shots from Jacques Nails and McCredie tied the score. Hanna’s first three put the Rams in front again and a basket by Matt Fedullo kept AHS in front entering the second quarter. Four of the five starters for AHS scored in the first quarter with Holloway assisting on two of his teammates shots.
Amsterdam continued to execute in the second quarter boosting its lead to 17-13 on a steal by Hanna and a lay up by Ben Rhodes. But, the momentum swung Gloversville’s way and the Dragons went on a 13-0 run midway through the second period led by Jacquez Nails, who led Gloversville with 19 points, Josh Nails, who scored four points during the run and all six of his points in the second quarter, and Cameron Stewart, whose five points all came during the Gloversville surge. The Dragons led by six at the end of the first half 32-26, and kept the pressure on in the second half, disrupting AHS pass attempts and taking the ball and the game away.
“It doesn’t mean anything unless you put the ball in the hoop,” Jones said. “We didn’t make the best of our opportunities tonight. Our execution in the second half was not good and we didn’t get the ball where we wanted, and Gloversville did. We have to be more solid defensively. Gloversville played a great game.”
Amsterdam was led by Hanna’s 22 points. Keenan Holloway scored 11 points followed by Bergh, who finished with eight, and led AHS with six rebounds. Rhodes added six points, Devon Valentin chipped in with three, Garner and Matt Fedullo each had two points.
Gloversville put eight in the scoring column. Reppenhagen’s 11 complimented Jacquez Nails team high 19. McCredie finished with 10 points and three rebounds. Broderick Royal was next with eight points followed by Josh Nails who added a team high five rebounds to his six points. Cameron Stewart had five points, Poulin had four points, and Aidan Barnhill added two points in the winning effort.
“It was probably one of my best games in my coaching career,” Kucel said. “ We played our tails off tonight.”
Both teams will be off until after the holidays. Gloversville will play in the Fonda- Fultonville Tournament on December 28-29. Amsterdam will be headed to the Glens Falls Civic Center on December 28 and 30 for a tournament. Game times have yet to be announced. Amsterdam returns to action in the Foothills Council with three straight games at home beginning with a rematch against Johnstown on January 5, 2016. Amsterdam earned a hard-fought win in overtime in their first meeting with the Sir Bills 69-67 back on December 8 in Johnstown. The rematch is shaping up to be another exciting contest. Game time at AHS is set for 7:30pm.
Also Friday night, Gloversville joined Amsterdam in being recognized as a “Safe Sports School.”
National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) president Aimee Brunelle presented Gloversville athletic trainer Dave Haverly and the school with the first team award as a safe sports school. Both Gloversville and Amsterdam met all ten criteria for the designation. Only 14 schools in New York have earned the distinction. Both schools are part of Section 2 in the NYSPHSAA. Amsterdam received its award at halftime of Thursday’s Amsterdam Lady Rams game with Gloversville.