AHS boys varsity and JV basketball teams prevail over Broadalbin-Perth

It’s often said in the game of basketball you have to play a good four quarters. If a team outscores their opponent in each of those quarters they win the game. Wednesday night, the Broadalbin-Perth Patriots varsity basketball team outscored the Amsterdam Running Rams in three of the four quarters, but it was a 28 point effort put up by the Rams in the second quarter that proved to be the difference maker as they outscored BPHS 28-12 in the period leading to a 81-75 win at Amsterdam High School in a battle for second place in the Foothills Council South division.

A capacity crowd filled the AHS gymnasium for an entertaining night of basketball reminiscent of the days when Amsterdam turned down the lights during the player introductions and shined a spotlight on the floor for the home team. It was dubbed ‘showtime’ back in the 1990’s when Amsterdam contended for a Big 10 title every year and reached the state final in 1995. It felt like showtime once again at AHS on Wednesday night.

“That was a pretty good game from a spectators standpoint,” Amsterdam coach Tim Jones said. “A great atmosphere and great high school basketball. Just a fun night.”

The game was exciting from the opening tip, and when the shots started to fall the crowd responded with standing ovations. Shots were falling, and they didn’t stop, especially from long range where the two teams combined to make 21 three-point shots.

“A lot of it came from the crowd,” Amsterdam senior Ben Rhodes said on the emotionally charged contest. “We have a rivalry going for this game. Every time they chucked up a three it went in. Kory (Bergh), Tysean (Hanna), and I were getting to the basket. Every time we step on the floor we do something special.”

And the second quarter was special. Amsterdam trailed 21-18 after the first period only to kick every aspect of their game into high gear in the second. Rhodes and Matt Fedullo made back to back shots to get the lead in front of a three-point make by Matt Man that gave Broadalbin-Perth its last lead of the game at 24-22. What happened next was “showtime” style basketball at its best. The Running Rams went on a remarkable 17-0 run to seize the momentum much to the delight of the home teams faithful fans.

Dale Stanavich got the run started with a three followed by a steal and a hoop by Hanna and another three by Bergh. Rebounds by Rhodes and Matt Fedullo turned into assists by Bergh and baskets by Hanna. Bergh poured in five more points with a coast to coast trip to the rim off a steal and his second triple of the run. The crowd got another boost of energy moments later when Brian Stanavich made his first appearance in a game for Amsterdam this season, and assisted on Hanna’s final points to cap off the rally putting AHS in front to stay 39-24. Brian Stanavich also scored his first points of the season on a lay up in the closing minutes helping AHS to a 46-33 advantage at the halfway mark. The Rams senior forward played a total of eight minutes and finished with five points and one rebound. Having him back was an important step as Amsterdam stayed in contention for the South division title with only two weeks remaining in the Foothills Council season.

“It felt great having Brian (Stanavich) back,” Kory Bergh said. “I need him. He’s my right hand man.”

Wednesday’s game also marked a return to the AHS court this season for Rams junior guard Anthony Aponte, who helped Amsterdam late in the game when the Patriots had narrowed the margin to only five points, 76-71 after a three-point make by Evan Dimaio and a free throw by Preston Taylor with less than one minute to play. Aponte hustled to get the rebound after Taylor missed the back end of a “one and one” and flew down court to score on a lay up and then converted the free throw pushing the lead back to eight, and a three possession game with only 36.3 seconds left to play.

“Having Aponte back was important,” Bergh said. “He’s a good addition because he can score whenever he wants.”

Bergh buried a pair of free throws after a put back on the other end by Patriots center Colby Hartz, who made another shot in the closing seconds for the final margin. Hartz helped BPHS get back in the game scoring all seven of his points in the fourth quarter while turning in a strong effort in the second half bringing down six of his seven rebounds. The Patriots chipped away at the Rams lead outscoring Amsterdam 20-17 in the third quarter and 22-18 in the fourth, but couldn’t overcome the damage done by the Rams strong second quarter where the AHS offense and defense shined.

“After that second quarter nothing was going to fix it at that point,” Broadalbin-Perth coach Tucker Gifford said. “Our guys didn’t quit. It was a high intensity game, up and down, but our first half struggles proved to be the difference. We have to get to the basket a little more, and we have to play better defense.”

Broadalbin-Perth got another outstanding performance from Preston Taylor, who finished with a game high 27 points. Taylor got nothing but net on three triples in the fourth quarter as the Patriots closed the gap. His last shot from behind the arc cut the AHS lead to single digits, 74-67 with 1:21 left in the game. Taylor was also the driving force for the Patriots in the opening minutes of the game connecting for a pair of long distance shots putting BPHS up early 6-3, and later answering a pair of thee point makes by Bergh to put BPHS back in front 15-13. Taylor made seven of the Patriots total 14 three-point baskets, but did not register one in the pivotal second quarter where he was held to four points.

“Every game is a tough game,” said Taylor, who will look to rebound on Friday when the Patriots take on the 9-1 Glens Falls Indians, one of the top contenders in the Foothills Council North division. “We had a good start until that second quarter. Our defense gave up 40 points in a half, and that’s not BP basketball. We buckled down and did what we had to do to get back in it.”

Taylor had plenty of help from his friends as there was no surrender in the Patriots game. Evan Dimaio made a three-point shot at the buzzer to end the first half. And Dimaio was not alone, Joe Lapido made a three for his only points of the game to close out the third quarter with BPHS trailing by only ten, 63-53. Dimaio finished with 15 points for the Patriots. Vinnie Dicaterino scored 12 points for BPHS with five coming in the first quarter helping the visiting team stay in front 21-18 heading into the second quarter. DiCaterino also led the Patriots with nine rebounds. Matt Mann scored six points, and Connor Pingitore scored five in the Patriots cause including two on a jump shot in the fourth quarter that got BPHS to 70-61 with five minutes to play. Pingitore also contributed a steal in the closing minutes leading to Taylor’s last free throw before Aponte’s efforts helped clinch the win for AHS. The Patriots fought back, but Amsterdam boosted by the second quarter surge and an energized home crowd did enough in the second half to secure the win.

“That was great coaching on BP’s part, they made a lot of shots,” Amsterdam Coach Tim Jones said. “We need to compose ourselves a little better. It’s easy to play up for a rivalry. I thought in the second quarter we got back to playing one possession at a time. We still have some growing pains to work through.”

The game also marked the first time that AHS suited up everyone on its roster for the game. Aponte and Brian Stanavich returned after being sidelined by injuries and will help AHS down the stretch leading into sectionals. Bergh led Amsterdam with 25 points including five three pointers, Hanna was next with 17 points followed by Rhodes with 16. Matt Fedullo contributed nine points in the AHS effort. Aponte and Dale Stanavich finished with five points each, and Brian Stanavich ended his night with four points. Keenan Holloway had four rebounds, and Gehrig Garner and Louis Fedullo each had one rebound in the Rams cause.

“I thought that anyone who went in the game fulfilled their role,” Coach Jones said. “It’s good that we have a full team back.”

The win was an important one for Amsterdam (11-3 overall, 8-2 Foothills Council) as they take sole possession of second place in the South division and only one game behind first place Scotia-Glenville (9-1 Foothills Council). The Rams have three league games remaining on their schedule beginning with Friday’s contest at Hudson Falls. The Rams travel to Scotia-Glenville on Tuesday for a game with the Tartans that could decide the division. Amsterdam handed Scotia-Glenille its only loss of the season back on January 12th with a 58-52 overtime victory at AHS. The Rams and Patriots will meet again on Tuesday, February 2nd when AHS travels to Broadalbin-Perth to close out their Foothills Council schedule. Tip times for the varsity games are slated for 7:30pm.

Junior varsity Rams win big over BPHS 88-46

The Amsterdam varsity teams’ 28 point showing in the second quarter of their game wasn’t the biggest point total of the night. The JV Rams posted a 32 point effort in the first quarter of their game Wednesday night on the way to a 88-46 win at AHS. Amsterdam led 32-9 after one and 49-19 at the half.

Jaden Fallen led the JV Rams with 16 points. William Brown totaled 14 points, Elias Sanchez scored 11, and Art Ausfeld and Trey Holloway turned in 10 point efforts for the winners. Andre Jackson poured in nine points, Deanthony Colon chipped in with eight points, Ryan Bradt and Ryan Gannon helped with three points each, and Juan Colon and Nicolino Orengo scored two points apiece for the Rams.

Devon Holz led the Patriots JV squad with nine points. Troy Monroe and Rodryk Benton each scored eight points, Blake Leonard added seven, Bobby Munn scored five, Andrew Syzdek chipped in with four points, Lucas Coon had three, and Glenn Buyce scored two points in the Patriots cause.

(Photos by Scott Mulford)

Editor’s note: Unfortunately Scott Mulford was unable to get a good picture of the AHS cheerleaders, who also performed along with some younger students.

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.