AHS girls basketball top previously unbeaten Glens Falls

The Amsterdam Lady Rams front court trio of Giuliana Pritchard, Elena Fedullo, and Jackie Stanavich have in the early season become one of the more formidable line-ups in girls high school basketball. Thursday night the Amsterdam varsity faced an unbeaten Glens Falls Lady Indians team, and were up to the task. Pritchard scored a game high 20 points, Stanavich added seven, and Fedullo threw in a career best 15 points helping Amsterdam take down Glens Falls 55-46 at Amsterdam High School.

“It was a battle,” Amsterdam coach Eric Duemler said. “Glens Falls is a good team. We held them to 46 points. If we hold every team under 50 points it will be hard to beat us.”

It didn’t come easy. The Lady Rams built a 14-4 first quarter lead with Pritchard, Fedullo, and Stanavich doing all the damage. Pritchard created a turnover and converted it into two points, and later assisted on another score by Fedullo who also tossed in four points by dominating the offensive boards. However, the lead slowly faded when Glens Falls sophomore guard Lexi Cutter found herself with plenty of space to connect on back-to-back three point attempts slicing the Amsterdam lead to 14-10. Sovereign Strickland added two more completing an 8-0 Glens Falls run. A free throw by AHS freshman Charli Beekman made it 15-12, but Cutter struck again knotting the score, and Strickland added a free throw giving the Lady Indians a 16-15 lead, and the Lady Rams their first opening quarter deficit in five games.

“We just lost her (Cutter),” Coach Duemler said. “She’s a good shooter, and we didn’t communicate.”

But, while the Lady Indians were taking shots from the perimeter, the Lady Rams were dominating in the paint. A steal by Stanavich put the lead back in AHS’ favor and began a back and forth sequence that saw the teams trade baskets with Glens Falls Cambrie Schliff and Taylor Scarincio, and AHS’ Fedullo coming through to even things up at 21-21. Fedullo’s free throw started a 9-0 AHS run that included points by Pritchard and Gianna Derosa. Glens Falls chipped away again with a three by Anna Bayle and a pair of free throws by Felicity Williams making the score 29-25 at the half. On paper the game appeared close, but on the court Glens Falls had to rely on their three-point shooters to keep them in it. The Lady Rams defense took away just about everything else.

“We took away their set plays and their pick and role,” Coach Duemler said. “We limited No. 40 (Scarincio), and they were scrambling. Credit to our defense. We beat Glens Falls and we’re happy about that.”

Aside from a pair of lay ups by Schliff, the majority of Glens Falls points in the first half came from the perimeter or free throw line. That factor was magnified in the second half when Amsterdam started out strong again getting points inside from Pritchard and Fedullo. Lucia Liverio got into the scoring column with the first three for AHS, and steals by Stanavich and Pritchard made it a double digit advantage for the Lady Rams at 39-29. Pritchard then followed that with a lay up off an inbound pass from Liverio helping the Lady Rams stay in front 41-33 after three periods of play.

“Lexi (Cutter) kept us in it early on,” Glens Falls coach Mark Girard said. “We were out of sync a little bit, and only had spurts here and there. We have to play the whole time. The effort is there and we can build on that.”

A pair of free throws by Scarincio to open the fourth quarter narrowed the lead to six, but AHS freshman Antonia May responded with a three point shot, and Pritchard out-ran everyone down court and took a pass from Liverio to the basket giving AHS its largest lead at 46-35. Meanwhile, the AHS defense clamped down on Scarincio and Schliff holding them to only seven points each for the game. Cutter found the mark from three point range one more time, but the Lady Rams defense wouldn’t quit, and turnovers quickly converted to points forcing the Lady Indians to foul sending Amsterdam to the free throw line where they struggled going 11 for 25. Amsterdam eventually kept possession of the ball and ran the final minutes off the clock sealing the win.

“We have to make foul shots,” Coach Duemler said. “We have a lot to work on. All ten on this team are good players. We will keep heading toward our goals.”

The main goal has always been to win Amsterdam’s first girls sports team Section 2 title. The victory over Glens Falls is certainly a step in the right direction. Glens Falls had won the last two meetings with AHS, a fact that rested in the minds of the Lady Rams.

“They had beaten us twice,” Amsterdam junior Elena Fedullo said. “This year we came back strong and it was a big win.”

Fedullo’s career best 15 points couldn’t have come at a better time. Thirteen of that total came in the first half helping AHS stay in front. All three of her offensive rebounds resulted in points, and she stood tall in the middle of the lane deflecting or altering opponents shots. Thursday’s win also marked the third straight game that the front court trio of Pritchard, Fedullo and Stanavich were the top three AHS scorers.

“That was Elena’s (Fedullo) best game,” Coach Duemler said. “I’ve seen flashes of her doing good things. Tonight she really played well, and especially played good defense. I’m happy with her effort.”

Elena Fedullo’s varsity career began last year as a sophomore when her sister Nina Fedullo was in her senior year. Glens Falls was one of only two teams to defeat Amsterdam more than once. The other being defending Section 2 Class A champion Averill Park.

“At first she’s going to be shocked,” Elena Fedullo said when asked about what her sisters’ reaction would be to her career best night. “Then she will probably be mad I didn’t play that way when she played.”

Fedullo’s 15 points gives her 43 for the season so far. Stanavich’s seven points gives her 67 through five games as a freshman in her first varsity season, and Pritchard’s 20 points boosts her total to a team best 101 points to date. Those totals are also the top three for the Amsterdam varsity.

Pritchard had ten rebounds and seven steals coming close to a ‘triple- double’. Liverio and May finished with five points each, Gianna Derosa added two points and one rebound, Beekman chipped in with a free throw and forced a turnover, Taylor Flint contributed two rebounds and an assist, and Stanavich pulled down seven rebounds for Amsterdam (5-0).

Cutter led Glens Falls with 14 points. Strickland was next with nine points, Scarincio and Schliff each had seven points, Williams scored four points, Bayle had three points, and Mattie Benway scored two points for Glens Falls (4-1).

The Lady Rams hit the road for their next two games beginning with a visit to Hudson Falls on Monday, and continuing with a game at Scotia-Glenville High School on Friday at 7pm where the Lady Rams will challenge another current unbeaten in the Lady Tartans (7-0). The Lady Rams next home game will be in their annual Holiday Showcase tournament on December 27 when Amsterdam faces a team from Pittsfield, MA.

Authors Notes; During the first quarter of Thursday’s game, Lady Rams senior Giuliana Pritchard converted a lay up and in the process became only the fifth player in the programs history to score more than 800 points. Pricthard joins AHS alumni Nina Fedullo, Amy Jo Stewart, Brittany Stahura, and Angie Fedullo in the top five all time on the Lady Rams scoring list. Pritchard’s current point total is 815. Pritchard’s 20 points against Glens Falls was also her third straight game with 20 or more.

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.