Running Rams move to first in Foothills Council South Division

Willie Brown and Dale Stanavich teamed up to score 35 points leading the Amsterdam Running Rams varsity team to a 66-43 win over Scotia-Glenville at Amsterdam High School on Friday night. The victory moved the team into first place in the Foouthills Council South Division.

“We lost by twenty when we last played them at Scotia,” Amsterdam junior Willie Brown said. “We needed a spark and went out and played our game. We played our hearts out.”

Brown didn’t play in the first match up with the Tartans nearly a month ago, but was more than ready for the rematch on Friday scoring a game high 19 points including five three point makes from long range. The junior guard did most of his damage in the third quarter when the Rams just blew the doors off any chance of a Tartans comeback.

Leading 28-15 at the half, the Rams picked up where they left off with Anthony Aponte scoring the first five points of the third quarter with a three and a deuce. Then another factor that keyed in the Rams win continued when Louis Fedullo stole a pass intended for Rickey Woodley near mid court and headed down the floor finishing the play with a resounding dunk. By the time the ball touched the floor everyone in the stands knew it was Amsterdam’s night. The Rams led by twenty, 35-15, and never let up.

“The team stayed poised,” Amsterdam coach Tim Jones said. “They didn’t try to do more than they needed to do defensively. It was all about team, and a different game than against Gloversville. The guys did what they needed to do.”

After a three point shot by S-G’s Trevor Martin cut it back to 35-18, the Rams went on a 15-0 run midway through the period spurred on by steals turned into points from Robbie Spagnola and Dale Stanavich, and a pair of back to back three’s by Brown. Amsterdam had converted Tartans turnovers into 16 points in the first half and continued that trend into the second. The final points off the run coming off a Stanavich steal culminating a night when the AHS senior had six thefts and turned all of them into points.

“In practice we go through the rotations,” said Stanvich, who finished with 16 points. “I know to be in the right place at the right time.”

Brown drained three of his game high five triples in the third quarter with the last one on an off balance fade to complete a 25 point quarter for the Rams, and a 53-22 lead heading into the fourth and final period.

“Willie (Brown) was on a mission tonight,” Coach Jones said. “He’s comfortable in his role and he played well.”

Scotia-Glenville tried to mount a rally in the fourth, and led by Christian Corker (13 points), Rickey Woodley (10 points), Trevor Martin (9 points), and Sean DeGraffenreid (3 points), who all connected from long range during the quarter, managed to whittle the 31 point lead down to twenty. The night belonged to the home team however, and Aponte, Brown, Stanavich, and a final three point shot by Mikey Gomez gave Amsterdam the same margin of victory as their opponent had in their first meeting. The Rams head to Broadalbin-Perth on Tuesday for a game with the Patriots, who defeated Scotia- Glenville earlier this week. Amsterdam is in a similar situation as they were a year ago when they had ended the Tartans record win streak with an early February win at AHS, but days later were denied a Foothills South title in a loss to the Patriots at BPHS.

“We’re going to go at it one day at a time,” Coach Jones said. “Broadalbin-Perth is going to be up for it. Tucker (BPHS Coach Tucker Gifford) has a well disciplined team.”

The Rams will need to keep their energy level up as they did throughout Friday’s game. Scotia- Glenville clung to a slim one point lead after the first quarter and neither team scored until Brown’s first three point shot at the 5:18 mark. Amsterdam picked up its intensity in the second quarter with Stanavich appearing everywhere on the court and coming away with four steals that blunted any chance of a Tartans response. The last four Amsterdam points of the second frame came off steals by Spagnola and Tristan Green producing the 28-15 advantage. Complimenting the defensive efforts inside the paint was Louis Fedullo, who kept Scotia-Glenville from getting any good looks close to the rm.

“Louis Fedullo played a good game,” Coach Jones said. “He contested every shot, and went out and just got after the ball.”

Anthony Aponte also had a double digit scoring night for the Rams. Along with Brown and Stanavich, the senior guard provided consistency scoring in every quarter and finished the night with 15 points and seven rebounds in a strong effort.

“Our energy going in was strong,” Aponte said. “We’ve come a long way as a team, and we know what we have to do to get to the civic center.”

The Rams have their work cut out for them beginning Tuesday night BPHS. Wins over the Patriots and then Schuylerville next Friday would put the Rams in their first Foothills Council title game at the Glens Falls Civic Center since joining the league in 2014.

Robbie Spagnola finished with six points for Amsterdam (9-2 Foothills), followed by Tristan Green’s five points. Mikey Gomez had three points and Fedullo’s dunk was his two points. Trey Holloway had three rebounds, and Ozzie Dejesus added a rebound for AHS. Andrew Lemorta scored eight points for Tartans and Brendan Caldwell came down with one rebound for Scotia- Glenville (8-3 Foothills).

Tip times for the varsity game at Broadalbin-Perth on Tuesday, and the home game at AHS against Schuylerville on Friday are scheduled for 7:30pm.

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.