Lady Rams wrap up division title with win against Scotia-Glenville

The Amsterdam Lady Rams varsity basketball team headed into Thursday’s game with the Scotia-Glenville Lady Tartans on the heels of a loss two days earlier at Niskayuna. It wasn’t the scenario any team would want when taking on a division rival. But the team was undeterred that day, and came away with their third straight Foothills Council South division title with a 62-50 win at Scotia Glenville High School.

“The girls were excited, they executed their game plan and played hard,” Amsterdam coach Eric Duemler said. “This had a sectional game atmosphere.”

The game certainly had big implications. A loss by Amsterdam would have kept their toughest division foe and the only Foothills Council team other than Glens Falls to defeat the Lady Rams in the last three years, still in the division hunt, and meant that Amsterdam would have to wait to clinch on senior night, Monday against Broadalbin-Perth. With a good crowd on hand and the Scotia-Glenville pep band turning up the volume, the two teams battled for division bragging rights. The Lady Rams played a game similar to that in a victory over Gloversville earlier in the week. Whenever their opponent scored, the Lady Rams answered, never allowing the other team to gain momentum.

Giuliana Pritchard started the scoring for Amsterdam following the opening tip on a drive to the rim. Mark Kate Palleschi got the Lady Tartans on the board in similar fashion with the first of her team high 16 points. Nina Fedullo responded for Amsterdam with a flawless spin move to the basket, going around Palleschi and Rhaymi Porter for two of her game high 23 points. Mikyla Mitchell scored on a pair of foul shot for SGHS, but Pritchard answered for Amsterdam with a pair of free throws to start an impressive night from the line for the Lady Rams and give AHS a 6-4 lead. Palleschi knotted things up again once more before Fedullo would give Amsterdam a lead it would hold until the end. A defensive rebound by Lucia Liverio then turned into a three point shot by Maria Lomanto that gave AHS a little breathing room at 11-6. The Lady Rams were playing their game featuring a strong effort by Fedullo and Pritchard inside, and an accurate sharpshooting performance to compliment that from the outside by Lomanto and Brady Santiago.

“We finished plays and made our foul shots,” Coach Duemler said. “Nina (Fedullo) and Giuliana (Pritchard) attacked the basket inside and Maria (Lomanto) and Brady (Santiago) made threes.”

Amsterdam last four points of the first quarter came on another aspect to the Lady Rams game, an assist. Santiago’s first points came via a pass by Fedullo and Fedullo’s final points of the opening frame were due to a pass from Pritchard. Amsterdam led 15-11 after one period with a block by Liverio helping keep that lead intact. Amsterdam looked to pad its lead in the second quarter with a little more consistency and denying Scotia- Glenville the same.

Grace Catena got the Lady Rams on the board first to open the second quarter boosting Amsterdam’s lead to six on a lay up close to the rim. AHS kept working the ball inside with Fedullo scoring after Mitchell had responded for the Lady Tartans. Palleschi cut in back to a four point game on a put back, but Amsterdam went outside to Santiago stretching the lead to 22-15. Scotia- Glenville followed Santiago’s triple by stringing together a pair of baskets for the first time in the game getting scores by Mitchell and Porter to close the gap to three at 22-19. That was as close as they would get. Lomanto’s next three on an assist by Gianna Derosa took away that momentum. Scotia-Glenville never had a run of more than four points, and that was not enough against a Lady Rams team that found the basket from anywhere on the court. Santiago and Lomanto produced nine points from behind the arc before halftime, while only one three-point try found the mark for SGHS in the first half, and that was by Juliana Geniti midway through the first. For the game, Santiago and Lomanto teamed up for 22 points, all but four from long range.

“Brady (Santiago) is fearless and so is Maria (Lomanto),” Coach Duemler said. “This was a bounce back game for Brady. Hopefully it has rejuvenated her.”

Amsterdam took a 25-21 lead into the locker rooms after a second quarter in which neither team had committed a foul through the first five minutes. The only foul shot attempted came late and that was a miss by Jazmyn Corker with 13 seconds left in the half. Another factor helping the Lady Rams was that the Lady Tartans leading scorer, Caitlyn Estes was once again held in check by the Lady Rams. Estes attempted three long distance shots in the first half but did not connect. Amsterdam had no trouble finding the net and kept the pressure on in the second half.

“Brady, Maria, and Taylor (Flint) took turns guarding Caitlyn Estes,” Coach Duemler said. “They denied her getting the ball.”

The Lady Rams offense and defense worked in concert to start the third. Fedullo scored on three well executed spins to the baskets ducking under and around the reach of Palleschi and Porter, Santiago rained in from long distance for another three, and when sent to the free throw line, Pricthard was perfect from the stripe. Suddenly, the Lady Rams were completing an 11-3 run and opening up a gaping 36-24 lead. Meanwhile Amsterdam’s defense got the turnovers needed to create that surge.

“Scotia is a big team inside the paint,” Coach Duemler said. “Both Nina and Giuliana have long arms and their reach helps us get those tips and deflections.”

Palleschi tried to keep the Lady Tartans in it with a pair of baskets, but another Santiago three and later a three point play by Fedullo kept the lead at twelve. Fedullo’s netting a free throw at the end of the third signaled another facet of the Lady Rams game that took center stage, making foul shots.

“Foul shots were our friend tonight,” Coach Dumelr said. “That gave us a big advantage.”

The Lady Rams made nine out of ten free throws when sent to the line several times in the fourth quarter, and overall were 13 of 14 from the charity stripe. Scotia- Glenville shot 9 for 15 for the game. After outscoring Scotia- Glenville 19 to 11 in the third period, the Lady Rams and Lady Tartans matched each other shot for shot in the fourth with both teams managing 18 points apiece. Estes finally got on the board in the fourth scoring on a pair of three points makes with the second one cutting the lead back to eight at 55-47. The Lady Rams once again answered on yet another impressive move through the lane by Fedullo and a pair of free throws by Santiago to keep the game at a double digit margin. Time ran out and Amsterdam celebrated a third division title and set up a third straight Foothills Council championship showdown with Glens Falls.

“We knew this was a big game and it’s good to get the win,” said Nina Fedullo, who had another “double-double” with 23 points and 15 rebounds. “It’s going to be great to see Glens Falls again, this time with Giuliana.”

Brady Santiago followed Fedullo’s performance with 16 points and Giuliana Pritchard complimented that with 14 points for Amsterdam. Maria Lomanto’s six points and Grace Catena’s three points rounded out the scoring for the Lady Rams. Lucia Liverio had three rebounds, Elena Fedullo added a pair of rebounds, and Gianna Derosa and Taylor Flint each added an assist in the winning cause.

Mary Kate Palleschi’s 16 points and five rebounds were tops for Scotia-Glenville. Mikayla Mitchell (11 points), and Jazmyn Corker (10 points) also scored in double digits for the Lady Tartans. Caityln Estes scored six points and added six rebounds, Rhaymi Porter had four points and as many rebounds, Juliana Geniti had three points, and Kelsey Brown had one rebound for Scotia- Glenville.

Amsterdam (14-3 overall, 10-1 Foothills Council) will hold “senior night” on Monday when the Lady Rams take on the Lady Patriots of Broadalbin- Perth. Amsterdam will honor the basketball careers of Nina Fedullo, Grace Catena, Brady Santiago, Maria Lomanto, and Janina Sjoberg. A victory by the Lady Rams would give them three straight regular seasons of not losing to a division opponent. The last time Amsterdam lost to a Foothills South team was to the Lady Tartans in a 2015 sectional quarter final. Tip time for the varsity contest is set for 7pm.

Lady Rams JV top Scotia- Glenville 55- 36

Antonia May led eight Lady Rams in scoring with 17 points as the Amsterdam junior varsity squad defeated Scotia- Glenville 55-36 on Thursday night. Mady Carmona complimented May’s performance with 11 points. Sydney Szczepanik was next with seven points, followed by Francesca Derosa and Yarlyn Toro with six points each, Yariana Toro had five points, and Jareymarie Aponte had three points for the Lady Rams. Scotia-Glenville was led by Megan Charnews who had 17 points, many of them on drives to the rim. Charnews had a difficult time with AHS’ Emily Schaufelberg, who kept Charnews from driving along the baseline in the fourth quarter. Charnews was 0 for 3 on shots against the Lady Rams freshman, but otherwise had an outstanding game. Courtney Dicarlo added 12 points for the Lady Tartans junior varsity team.

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.