Running Rams basketball break three game skid, top Maginn on senior night

The Amsterdam boys varsity basketball team needed something to give them momentum heading into the sectional playoffs. Fortunately, they had one more game left on their schedule and as it turned out it was senior night for eight Running Rams. Amsterdam got the win it needed Tuesday night with a 92-67 victory over former Big 10 foe Bishop Maginn at Amsterdam High School.

“A lot different from yesterday,” Amsterdam head coach Tim Jones said. “I’m very proud of these guys. Right from the tip they came out and looked for each other and set up shots. It was a team game tonight and a lot of fun on senior night.”

Amsterdam was coming off a third straight loss after dropping a 66-64 decision to Schuylerville in Monday’s Foothills Council crossover game at AHS. Twenty four hours later, the Running Rams grabbed the lead on their first possession and never trailed in the game. Ben Rhodes got it started for AHS with the game’s first five points. Amsterdam’s eight seniors, Rhodes, Keenan Holloway, Gehrig Garner, Matt Fedullo, Kory Bergh, David Crawford, Brian Stanavich, and Brian Serrano, played the majority of the game, and before it was over, all got into the scoring column.

Brian Stanavich scored boosting the lead to 7-2 in the games’ first two minutes. After Bishop Maginn’s Joey Ward sliced the lead to two with a three point basket, Rhodes connected for his second triple of the quarter at 12-5, and then again at 15-7 followed by scores from Matt Fedullo and Bergh, and later at the end of the period to give AHS a 28-15 lead after one quarter. Rhodes had scored half the Running Rams’ point total, most of it coming on four shots from beyond the arc.

“Boy, he looked good,” Coach Jones said of Rhodes. “That led to everyone scoring. They did what they needed to do.”

Crawford and Bergh connected on a pair of three point shots, and Crawford added two more helping the Rams off to an 8-0 run to open the second quarter. The two senior guards assisted on each others shots, and were part of Amsterdam’s 27 assists on the night. Bergh’s second three of the quarter gave the Running Rams their largest lead 39-18 before Taylor Blue Clarke answered for the Golden Griffins. Gehrig Garner was the next AHS senior to score with a jump shot from the corner baseline boosting the lead back up to 41-21. AHS led by twenty and continued to play strong.

“This was big,” Garner said. “Coming off a three game streak, this now gives us momentum heading into sectionals. We play better when we have a lot of people supporting us. We like the big crowds. It gives us energy.”

The Running Rams had plenty of support from a good crowd on senior night, and with the Amsterdam Marching Rams Pep Band, and performances at halftime by the Amsterdam cheerleader squad, the home team had plenty of energy to carry them to victory.

Brian Serrano was the next AHS senior to score netting back to back three point shots pushing the lead to 49-26. Bergh’s fifth triple put Amsterdam in front 52-28 at the end of the first half. Bergh, who became the fifth Amsterdam High School boys basketball player to reach 1,000 points in Friday’s loss to Green Tech, had a team high 19 points. Serrano finished with a career high 11 points. At halftime, only Keenan Holloway had yet to score for the AHS seniors, but it didn’t take long. Holloway connected from long range in the opening minutes of the third quarter giving the Running Rams an incredible 59-29 lead. Holloway finished with 11 points for the game, as did Matt Fedullo, who scored seven in the third quarter including a three to put AHS up 77-39. Serrano scored all 11 of his points in the third helping AHS take an 80-39 lead into the fourth quarter.

Bishop Maginn outscored the Running Rams 28-12 in the last period. The Golden Griffins pulled off a 15-0 run midway through and were led by Tyshane Vastion’s 27 points and 10 rebounds. Blue Clarke was next on the charts with 16 points for Bishop Maginn. Taevon Wallace scored eight points, Ayyud Ward scored six points, Najaliek Uptegrow-Turner had five points, Joey Ward, had four, and Dominique Threatt scored one point in the Griffins effort.

Garner added four rebounds to his two points for Amsterdam. Rhodes finished with 18 points and five rebounds, David Crawford scored 10 points and had three rebounds, Brian Stanavich contributed six points, and Louis Fedullo added four points for Amsterdam.

“There’s no question this win helps us,” Coach Jones said. “To do it the way we’re playing gives us a lot of positive energy, and momentum is a good thing to have.”

Amsterdam (14-6 overall, 10-4 Foothills Council) now awaits the Section 2 meeting on Wednesday to determine seeds for the upcoming playoffs.

Author’s Note:

Kory Bergh became the latest Amsterdam boys basketball player to score 1,000 career points, reaching the milestone mark in Friday’s 91-67 loss to Green Tech. He joins Jason Mathias (1079 points- AHS), Lou Fedullo (1098 points), Mike Sollecito (1221 points), and Amsterdam’s all time career points leader Todd Cetnar (1621 points). Mathias scored over 1,000 points for both Amsterdam and Galway. Fedullo is current Amsterdam girls basketball points leader Nina Fedullo’s father, and he reached the mark in Feburary 1980. Nina Fedullo is only seven points shy of 1,000 and broke the career points mark held by Amy Jo Stewart (954 points), on February 1st against Broadalbin-Perth.

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.