It took 27 years, several outstanding teams, and countless talented players to walk past the Amsterdam High School’s trophy case containing Amy Jo Stewart’s basketball with the number “954” on it. But after last night, the ball will finally have some company. Monday night, junior Nina Fedullo set a new scoring mark for a Lady Rams basketball player, passing Stewart and in the process poured in 23 points to lead the Lady Rams over Broadalbin-Perth 63-37 on “Senior Night” at AHS. It was the beginning of a milestone night in more ways than one for the Amsterdam girls basketball program.
“I projected she would break the record a little deeper into the season,” Amsterdam head coach Eric Duemler said. “I didn’t know she would get 37 points on Saturday.”
Fedullo scored 37 points against John F. Kennedy High School of the Bronx, NY in Saturday’s 80-53 win at The Mecca Challenge in NYC, and followed that with 17 points on Sunday against Harry S. Truman High School (Bronx, NY). The 54 point total over the weekend put Fedullo’s career mark at 938, just 17 points shy of the record heading into Monday’s game against the Lady Patriots. The junior forward posted 15 points during the first half against BPHS leaving her only two points shy at the start of the third quarter.
Leading 34-19, Amsterdam got the ball to start the third quarter, but prior to that Fedullo huddled with her team as if a plan were in place. Fedullo tossed the ball to Kaitlyn Devine to begin play then moved to the corner baseline. The Lady Rams worked the ball around the perimeter and eventually into Fedullo’s hands. She put up one shot, missed and grabbed the rebound, twice, and then on the third try put the ball in through the net to get 955 points for her career. She was fouled on the play, but time was called as an announcement was made about the record. Fedullo celebrated with her team.
“I couldn’t have done it without my team,” Fedullo said. “I do it for my team, and I’m happy I could break the record on senior night with the seniors.”
Fedullo’s teammates knew she was close, but didn’t focus on one accomplishment with the game not yet in the win column and with bigger games awaiting them.
“Nina didn’t want to know,” said Autumn Duemler on her teammate’s record breaking achievement. “We knew it was happening, but we didn’t dwell on it.”
Fedullo’s record breaker came with 7:22 left in the third quarter and boosted Amsterdam’s lead to 37-19 when she converted the free throw. But, Fedullo wasn’t done. After Broadalbin-Perth’s Erica Kordyjak scored two of her team high eight points, she stepped back and drilled a three point shot increasing the Lady Rams lead to 40-21. Kordyjak and Ali Visco traded free trows with AHS’ Rayven Roach and a basket by Brady Santiago before Santiago gave the Lady Rams their largest lead with a three at 47-27. It couldn’t have come at a better time as the Lady Patriots went on an 8-0 run near the end of the third frame keyed by baskets from Tatiana Ivery, Nyah Thompson, and Lola DiCaterino with assists by Kacie Corcuera, playing in her first varsity game, to make it a 12 point contest. Maria Lomanto ended the run with a triple just before the end of the period putting AHS up 50-35. Lomanto’s shot would also start a game clinching run by the Lady Rams.
“Midge (BPHS coach Michael Magliocca) works hard with his team,” Coach Duemler said. “I knew this would be competitive game.”
Giuliana Pritchard, Fedullo, Lomanto, Santiago, and Autumn Duemler all scored during a 10-0 run to start the final quarter putting Amsterdam up 60-35 as they pulled away for the win. Lomanto, Fedullo, Lucia Liverio and Grace Catena all contributed assists in a fourth quarter that had the Lady Rams outscore BPHS 13-2. Amsterdam seniors Autumn Duemler (6 points), Kaitlyn Devine (4 pts), and Rayven Roach (3 pts) teamed up for 13 points and along with fellow senior Jailene Irizarry (3 rebounds), had 18 rebounds. AHS seniors Gabriella Catena and Braelin Aldi were unavailable to play for medical reasons, but supported their teammates from the bench. Aldi warmed up with the team for this first time this year.
“It’s a special night for the team,” Coach Duemler said. “I’m proud of the seniors. They all played as hard as they could.”
Amsterdam built a 20-7 lead in the first quarter with Fedullo scoring seven of the Lady Rams first nine points. A three by Devine pushed the lead to 13-4, and four points in the quarter by Pritchard increased the lead to 19-7. A three by Santiago and a put back by Autumn Duemler gave AHS a 29-10 lead in the second quarter before triples from Michaela Egan and DiCaterino, and a jump shot by Hanna Magliocca cut it back to 30-18. Lomanto answered for AHS with a long distance make to give AHS the 34-18 advantage at the half.
Santiago was next on the Amsterdam scoring charts with 13 points moving her closer to 200 points for the season. Lomanto finished with eight points, followed by six points each from Pritchard and Autumn Duemler. Pritchard also had six rebounds. Devine had four points, and Roach three points in the winning effort. Liverio contributed four assists and two steals, Grace Catena had one rebound, two steals and two assists, and Victoria Barone-Lopez added one rebound and one steal for the Lady Rams.
Egan and Thompson were next after Kordyjak with six points each for Broadalbin-Perth. DiCaterino followed with five points, Visco and Ivery added four points, and Hannah, and Isabella Magliocca each had two points for the Lady Patriots. Corcuera contributed three rebounds and two assists, and Carly Sheffer added two rebounds for BPHS. Sheffer, along with Kordyjak, Ivery, and Danielle Biggers, who did not play because of injury, were also recognized before the game by the Lady Rams.
The victory was also a milestone for Amsterdam coach Eric Duemler, who has been at the helm of the Lady Rams for the past 15 years. Monday’s win gave him 200 for his career at AHS. Duemler’s tenure featured several outstanding teams, among them the 2009 Lady Rams team that went undefeated and won the Big 10 title before falling in the Section 2 playoffs, and last years team that won 16 straight games and finished with the best record in the Foothills Council in their initial season. The AHS girls basketball program presented Duemler with a plaque at the end of the game.
“I’ve had a lot of great players and great coaches working with me over the last 15 years,” Coach Duemler said. “A lot of good people that have been a part of this program including athletic trainers, doctors, athletic directors, boosters. A lot of good people to work with.”
Amsterdam (14-5 overall, 12-1 Foothills Council) wrapped up a successful campaign that featured a second straight season with an unbeaten record against Foothills Council South division opponents (8-0), a 7-0 record against Class A opponents, and two victories against Class AA teams including the win over JFK this past weekend.
“It was a very good trip,” said Coach Duemler reflecting on the teams’ New York City visit. “There were a lot of great players. JFK had two girls who are division one college prospects. It was a chance for the team to bond. There were a lot of positives.”
“New York City was a great experience,” added Fedullo. “To play there and see all the great teams, and to come back with another win. It was a great experience for all of us.”
Fedullo now has 961 points for her career with over 700 rebounds. Reaching the 1,000 point mark is still possible this year with a game on Thursday and at least one sectional game still ahead. Unlike Stewart who set the mark over five years on varsity, Fedullo set the new mark in only three years and can expand on that in her senior season, and could break the 961 career rebounding record set by Brittany Stahura as well.
“Eventually she’ll get one thousand points,” Coach Duemler said. “And she could get one thousand rebounds. It could happen.”
The Lady Rams learned their next opponent when it was announced during a time out in the fourth quarter Monday night, that Glens Falls (12-1 Foothills Council) had defeated Hudson Falls 37-31 to win the Foothills Council North division title. Glens Falls also won the only meeting with the Lady Rams earlier in the season handing Amsterdam a 65-43 setback at Glens Falls High School back on December 14, 2015. Fedullo left that game early in the first quarter after an injury to her right eye that required stitches. Amsterdam was also without the services of senior point guard Kaitlyn Devine, who was recovering from an ankle sprain, and junior guard Maria Lomanto, due to illness. Glens Falls has won the last two meetings with the Lady Rams including last years’ Foothills Council title match up at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The two teams meet again on that same court Thursday night at 6pm.
“Glens Falls is a good team,” Coach Duemler said. “They have the (Tougas) sisters and a number of players who can shoot the ball well. We’ll get a good practice in and be ready to go Thursday.”
“It’s going to be a tough game,” Autumn Duemler said. “It will take all we’ve got, but we’ll be ready.”
A victory on Thursday could make all the difference in the seedings with the Class A sectionals still ahead for the Lady Rams. Sectional playoffs begin in less than two weeks.
Amsterdam JV wins 54-15
Karly Power scored a game high 11 points to lead the junior varsity Lady Rams over the Broadalbin-Perth junior varsity Lady Patriots 54-15 Monday night at Amsterdam High School.
Amsterdam led 23-5 after the first quarter, and 36-8 at halftime. Gianna Derosa scored eight points for Amsterdam, Elena Fedullo added seven points, Gabby Stanavich added six. Mady Carmona and Lilian Orengo each scored five points for the Lady Rams, Jillian Rodecker and Natalie Fernandez contributed four points apiece, and Taylor Flint and Megan Lamont had two points each in the winning effort.
Adrienne Morreale scored seven points to lead Broadalbin-Perth. Tesa Brody added four points and a team high eight rebounds for the Lady Patriots. Kelsey Lindquist scored two points, Sara Kline and Allison McDonald added one point each in the BPHS effort.