Lady Rams will face strong Pittsfield squad at 2017 Holiday Showcase

The Amsterdam Lady Rams varsity basketball team and the Pittsfield (MA) Generals have been on parallel courses over the past few years. Each had lost back to back championship finals, and each saw the graduation of a team leading scorer. Wednesday evening, the two teams will meet in the 2017 Amsterdam Holiday College Showcase at Amsterdam High School.

Pittsfield is one of three Massachusetts teams entered in this year’s event, and the Generals are actually one up on the Lady Rams having won the Western MA Division 2 championship in March, defeating rival Belchertown 69-44 for their first title since 2002. Pittsfield had lost in the championship game the past two years, to Belchertown in 2015, and Longmeadow in 2016. The Generals defeated both teams on their way to the title in March. Meanwhile, the Lady Rams are still searching for their first ever New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Section 2 title in school history. Amsterdam has come up short to Averill Park the last two years.

The Generals had only one senior graduate from last season’s championship team, Peyton Steinman, who scored 23 points in the win over Belchertown, and was a four year varsity player for Pittsfield, and one of the programs top scorers. The Lady Rams also graduated their top scorer all time in Nina Fedullo, a four year starter for Amsterdam, who finished her career with the schools’ best mark of 1,500 points. Fedullo is also in the top 50 all time scoring list for NNYSPHSAA Section 2 girls basketball. The Lady Rams also lost to graduation; Brady Santiago, Grace Catena, and Maria Lomanto, but return a talented group including one of Section 2’s leading scorers this year in senior Giuliana Pritchard, who has scored 20 or more points in the last four AHS games.

Pritchard is also aiming to become only the second player in Lady Rams history to score 1,000 points. Her current career total is 836 after she put up 21 in Amsterdam’s 64-47 win last week at Hudson Falls. She’s had plenty of help from fellow seniors Lucia Liverio, Taylor Flint, and Gianna Derosa, along with three freshman including Jackie Stanavich, who is currently second in the team in scoring, Antonia May, and Charli Beekman. The Lady Rams have also had contributions from juniors Elena Fedullo, who scored a career high 15 points against Foothills Council rival Glens Falls, Kim Lopez, and Madison Carmona.

The Generals are led by junior Lexi Garvey, who scored a game high 25 points in the championship game win over Belchertown. Returning varsity players include seniors Britney Perkett, Bella Aitken, and Toni Satrape, juniors Johnahyah Curry, Natasha Shade, Kendra Catagna, and Garvey, and sophomores Taea Bramer, Lachazity Shaver, and Jordyn Lummus. New varsity additions include sophomore Kendra Buda. The Generals are coached by Joe Rancicot.

Amsterdam and Pittsfield tip off in the 6:30pm contest on Wednesday.

Joining the Generals at the Holiday Showcase are the Springfield Central (MA), and Lee High School (MA) teams. Springfield Central is the defending MIAA Massachusetts Division 1 State Champions, and Lee (MA) has won multiple Division 3 Western MA, and MIAA state titles. Springfield Central (MA) faces Bethlehem Central of the Suburban Council at 5pm on Wednesday. Lee (MA) tips against Beekmantown at 11am on Wednesday.

The Showcase also features some highly ranked girls basketball programs in NY state. Cicero-North Syracuse (Section 3) is ranked ninth in Class AA by the latest New York State Sportswriters Association (NYSSWA) poll. The Shenendehowa Lady Plainsmen (Section 2) are ranked 14th in the current AA poll, and Binghamton (Section 4) is ranked 15th in Class AA. The Amsterdam Lady Rams are currently ranked 13th in the NYSSWA Class A poll. Saugerties (Section 9) is ranked 20th.

Guilderland joins Bethlehem and Shenendehowa giving the Showcase three Suburban Council schools. Foothills Council rival Gloversville makes it a total of five NYSPHSAA Section 2 schools. Other participants include Haldane, Kingston, Holland Patent, and Francis Lewis (NYC). There’s even one school from across the border. Gerard-Filion of Quebec, Canada will play two games.

The Showcase will feature a full slate of games on Wednesday and Thursday.

2017 Amsterdam Holiday College Showcase Schedule:

Wednesday, December 27

Guilderland vs. Saugerties – 9:30am

Lee High (MA) vs. Beekmantown – 11am

Haldane vs. Gloversville – 12:30pm

Cicero- North Syracuse vs. Kingston – 2pm

Gerard Filion, Quebec vs. Binghamton – 3:30pm

Bethlehem Central vs. Springfield Central (MA) – 5pm

Amsterdam vs. Pittsfield (MA) – 6:30pm

Shenendehowa vs. Francis Lewis, NYC – 8pm

Thursday, December 28

Saugerties vs. Holland Patent – 10:30am

Beekmantown vs. Haldane – 12pm

Kingston vs. Gerard Filion, Quebec – 1:30pm

Gloversville vs. Cicero- North Syracuse – 3pm

Francis Lewis, NYC vs. Bethlehem – 4:40pm

Springfield Central (MA) vs. Shenendehowa – 6pm

Pittsfield (MA) vs. Guilderland – 7:30pm

Authors Notes; This years’ tournament really is a treat for basketball fans. Not often are this many established high school basketball programs sharing the same stage for an event like this. There will likely be plenty of college coaches/recruiters present for this one, as well as many high school sports fans. The Amsterdam Lady Rams are playing only one game in this years’ showcase due in part to an expansion in the number of games in the Foothills Council. Their opponent mirrors the type of game the Lady Rams like to play. Both Amsterdam and Pittsfield like to run in transition, and they have several players who can shoot the three. Defensively, they both can hold an opponent under fifty points. If you’re a fan of high school basketball, and even if you’re not, you don’t want to miss this game.

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.