Big fourth quarter helps AHS boys basketball team top Broadalbin-Perth

Amsterdam’s Ozzy Dejesus scored a game high 20 points including eight in a pivotal fourth quarter surge helping the Amsterdam Running Rams varsity basketball team turn a slim second half lead into a 62-44 victory over the Broadalbin-Perth Patriots on Tuesday night at Amsterdam High School.

The Rams held a 29-19 advantage at halftime and expanded that to a 12 point margin early in the third quarter after Dejesus took a pass close to the rim from Louis Fedullo to make it 33-21. But the Patriots strung together several good possessions and chipped away at the lead until Bobby Munn’s only points of the game on a three point basket as time ran out in the third cut the AHS advantage to 41-38. The momentum had shifted to the Patriots favor in part due to the strong second half play by Dante Calderone, Troy Monroe, and Jackson Sassanella. BPHS outscored the Rams 19 to 12 headed to the final period, but they couldn’t continue that energy late in the game.

“We had the momentum,” Broadalbin-Perth coach Tucker Gifford said. “But, we didn’t do the necessary things to win the fourth quarter and win the game. We had seven turnovers in the fourth and took poor shots, and eventually that will catch up with you.”

The first two minutes of the fourth quarter put the momentum back in the Rams favor as Dejesus opened the scoring with a drive to the rim, and Fedullo scored with a put back on the Rams next tip down the floor. The Rams’ Jeffrey Brennan stole the inbound pass on BPHS’ next try and quickly converted it to a 47-38 AHS lead. Fedullo finished with a “double-double” scoring 12 points and gathering 10 rebounds. Brennan notched 11 points, and Tristan Green gave the Rams strong minutes in the second half, especially under the boards with seven rebounds.

“We started doing things we wanted to do, things we talked about,” Amsterdam coach Tim Jones said. “We started executing and that’s what we hold ourselves to, but we need to execute better.”

Broadalbin-Perth’s Dante Calderone netted a three as part of his team high 15 points to get it back to a six point game at 47-41, but that was as close as the Patriots would get. A steal by the Rams’ Deananthony Colon turned into a three point play by Willie Brown and pushed the lead back to nine. After Calderone’s last basket, Dejesus scored on back-to-back attempts igniting a 12-2 run to end the game. Amsterdam outscored the Patriots 21-6 over the final eight minutes to seal the win and improve to 2-0 in the Foothills Council.

Monroe followed Calderone on the BPHS scoring chart with 13 points including a pair of triples. Lucas Coon added eight points, and Sassanella netted five for the Patriots (0-2 Foothills Council).

The Rams 62 point effort came from its’ five starters. Colon finished with ten points, and Brown contributed nine for the Rams. Dejesus hauled in eight rebounds for Amsterdam.

The Rams held a 19-10 lead after one period with Colon netting eight of his total during the opening eight minutes. Amsterdam started with a 12-2 run highlighted by a three point shot by Brennan as the first points of the contest, and a three by Dejesus pushing it to 12-2, and later 14-4 on a pair of free throws. Brennan’s second three of the quarter gave the Rams their largest lead at the time, 11 points. The teams’ matched each other point for point in the second quarter with BPHS drawing no closer than eight at 21-13 after a three by Sassanella.

“We have to get more comfortable with doing what we need to do to execute better,” Coach Jones said. “It’s going to be one game at a time. I’m looking forward to getting back to practice tomorrow.”

Amsterdam’s next game is Friday against Johnstown at Fulton Montgomery Community College. The varsity contest is scheduled to tip at 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.