AHS girls basketball earn #2 seed, boys #4 for class A sectionals

Several area high school basketball teams learned how their seasons will continue when the New York Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) announced the seeds for the Section 2 basketball playoffs that begin with opening round games on Friday. Both the Amsterdam Lady Rams and Amsterdam Running Rams teams received top four seeds in Class A. The 2016 Foothills Council champion Amsterdam Lady Rams varsity basketball team learned they will be the second seed in Class A at a scrimmage with the Johnstown Lady Bills on Wednesday afternoon at AHS.

“We’re happy with the number two seed,” Amsterdam head coach Eric Duemler said.”It’s a credit to the girls and how hard they worked all season, and winning the Foothills Council championship.”

Amsterdam’s last game before the NYSPHSAA committee meeting to determine the seeds in the five classes (AA, A, B, C, D) was the Foothills Council championship game last Thursday where the Lady Rams avenged an early season loss by defeating the defending league champions Glens Falls 59-56. That win along with a positive trip to New York City where the Lady Rams defeated John F. Kennedy High School (Bronx,NY) and challenged a ranked Harry S. Truman High School (NYC) team at the Mecca High School Challenge, factored into the Lady Rams getting a higher seed.

“Originally they talked about us as a number three,” Duemler said. “But, the committee went back in and sat down and talked about Amsterdam as a number two. They looked at our season and who we played and awarded us with number two.”

As a number two seed in Class A, the Lady Rams received a first round bye and will host a pair of quarterfinal games at Amsterdam High School on Saturday, February 20. Amsterdam will play the winner of Wednesday’s Mohonasen (#7) and Gloversville (#10) game in the 7:30pm contest. The Lady Flying Horses of Troy received the number three seed, and will play the winner of Wednesday’s opening round game between Lansingburgh (#6) and Queensbury (#11) in the first game at 6pm.

The Lady Rams have already faced one of their potential quarterfinal opponents twice this season. Amsterdam defeated the Gloversville Lady Dragons 67-55 in their first game back on December 3, 2015. The Amsterdam girls basketball programs’ all time leading scorer Nina Fedullo scored 31 points including 14 in the decisive fourth quarter to lead AHS to the win at Gloversville. Two weeks later, the Lady Rams got a well balanced effort on offense with eight players scoring including 17 points from Fedullo and 14 each from juniors’ Brady Santiago and Maria Lomanto, and played a swarming defense that forced 27 turnovers to defeat Gloversville 65-44 at Amsterdam High School. And, while Amsterdam is familiar with their league rival, their other possible opponent in Suburban Councils’ Mohonasen boasts a potential college prospect in junior guard Saeeda Abdul-Aziz, who leads the team in scoring and plays the game similar to what the Lady Rams experienced in the tourney in NYC.

“We know them (Gloversville) pretty well,” Coach Duemler said. “Gloversville has guards and forward that compliment each other pretty well. Mohonasen has a star player in Saeeda (AbdulAziz) who’s a division one NCAA type guard.”

Gloversville (4-10 Foothills) finished tied for third in the Foothills Council South division with a win over second place Scotia-Glenville. Mohonasen’s big win came at Troy in December 2015 when the Lady Warriors defeated the Class A’s third seed, 60-58. Amsterdam has scheduled at least one more scrimmage to prepare for sectionals. The Lady Rams will face Berne-Knox- Westerlo on Friday afternoon at AHS, and have invited the Lady Scotties of Ballston Spas to participate as well. According to Coach Duemler, he was waiting to hear back from Ballston Spa about their joining the workout. The two week layoff between games’ should have no impact on the Lady Rams quest for a sectional title.

“We’ll scrimmage on Friday and stay sharp,” Coach Duemler said. “This gives us a chance to rest and prepare for Saturday.”

On the boy’s side, the Amsterdam Running Rams (14-6 overall) earned the fourth seed, and will play Bishop Maginn (#13) in an opening round Class A game at Amsterdam High School on Wednesday night at 7pm. The Running Rams defeated the Golden Griffins in their last regular season game this past Tuesday, 92-67 on senior night at Amsterdam High School. Amsterdam seniors Kory Bergh and Ben Rhodes teamed up for 37 points in the win. Bishop Maginn was led by 27 points from Tyshane Vastion.

An Amsterdam win would put them in a quarterfinal game with the winner of the Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons (#12) and Averill Park (#5) contest. The quarterfinal round game is scheduled for 1pm on Sunday, February 21st at Hudson Valley Community College. Winners advance to the semi-finals, where the Running Rams could be facing top seeded Troy at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

In other area high school basketball news, the Gloversille boys team received a number eight seed and a first round home game with ninth seeded Queensbury on Wednesday at 7pm, at Gloversville High School. A victory would put them in quarterfinal match up with top seeded Troy.

The Broadalbin-Perth boys (16-4 overall) were awarded the number three seed and also got first round bye. The Patriots will play the winner of Cairo-Durham (#14) and Hoosic Valley (#19) at Broadalbin-Perth High School on Tuesday at 7pm.

The Broadalbin-Perth girls were given a number 16 seed, but will also open the sectionals at BPHS, on Friday with a first round game against number 17 seed Cairo-Durham. The Lady Patriots tip time is scheduled for 6pm.

Also tipping off at 6pm on Friday is the Johnstown girls basketball team. The Lady Bills earned a 13 seed in the crowded 22 team Class B field, and will play number 20 seed Emma Willard in the first of two games at Johnstown High School. Also on tap for Friday night, the Johnstown boys (#13) will play Granville (#20) in a Class B opening round game at 7:30pm at JHS.

Amsterdam Lady Rams junior guard Brady Santiago tied a school record with seven- three point baskets in a game during Amsterdam’s 59-56 win over Glens Falls in the Foothills Council championship game. Santiago has also been listed in the NYSPHSAA Section 2 basketball record book for making more than 40 three point shots this season. Megan Gaugler currently holds the Lady Rams record for three point shots with 59 makes during the 2007-2008 season.

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.