After last week’s season-first loss to Gloversville, the Amsterdam Lady Rams varsity basketball team bounced back Monday night to secure a 67-30 win over Broadalbin-Perth at Broadalbin-Perth High School. Giuliana Pritchard scored a season-high 30 points, which provided a much needed boost to put the Lady Rams back in the win column as they pursue a Foothills Council title.
“Giuliana’s tough,” Amsterdam coach Eric Duemler said. “She’s having a great season. A very unselfish player with unselfish kids around her.”
Pritchard needed plenty of help from her friends particularly the AHS reserves when early foul trouble sent two AHS starters to the bench. The Lady Rams were locked in a tight battle with BPHS and had to find a way to battle through the Lady Patriots “three-two” zone defense. A powerful move to the rim by Pritchard put AHS up 11-6 in the closing minutes of the first quarter, but BPHS trimmed the lead to one on free throws by Caroline Iannotti and Macy Bollart. The Lady Patriots attempted to take away Amsterdam’s effective transition game by employing a zone scheme. The Lady Rams countered with a number of presses to create turnovers and jump start that transition game.
Not to be denied, Pritchard intercepted a pass near mid court and banked one off the backboard and in for two more preventing BPHS from getting the lead. Moments later, Pritchard took a pass from Lucia Liverio in for another score keeping the Lady Rams in front 15-10 after one period of play. It didn’t stop there.
The opening minute of the second quarter saw the Amsterdam senior forward put up a shot over three Lady Patriots defenders continuing the Lady Rams run. Senior Taylor Flint picked off another BPHS pass and made the lead 19-10. Senior Gianna Derosa knocked down the first three point shot of the game providing a double digit AHS lead. Both Flint and Derosa have been first off the bench this season for Amsterdam and showed their experience when counted on for significant minutes Monday night.
“It’s great for our team,” Pritchard said. “Tonight showed that are bench is ready, and they showed our coach they can be ready when needed. It’s great they have that experience.”
Also seeing plenty of playing time were freshman Charli Beekman, and juniors Madison Carmona and Kim Lopez. The AHS reserves were key in making the AHS press defense very effective and contributed to an 18-0 Amsterdam run stretching from late in the first quarter to midway through the second.
“I let Mady (Carmona) know last week to be ready to play,” Coach Duemler said. “All ten kids on this team can play, and we want to work all ten into the game.”
A pair of baskets by Pritchard, and a put back by Elena Fedullo helped finish the run as AHS built a 29-10 lead. Nyah Thompson’s three ended the streak, but AHS had shredded the Lady Patriots zone and continued to score with Pritchard and Jackie Stanavich finding the bottom of the net. Derosa’s second three pushed the advantage to 38-17 and Pritchard scored again in front of a half ending three by Iannotti as Amsterdam took a 40- 20 lead into the locker rooms. Pritchard had 22 of her game high total in the first half. Amsterdam’s press defense had once again wreaked havoc on an opponent forcing turnovers and a pair of shot clock violations.
“We picked up the defense and used multiple presses,” Coach Dumler said. “We changed it up more often, and picked up our half court defense.”
The second half was more of the same. Amsterdam scored nine of the first eleven points to start the third quarter getting points from Pritchard, Stanavich, Derosa, and Antonia May. The Lady Rams outscored the Lady Patriots 12 to 6 in the third period and 27 to 10 in the second half. Pritchard put up her final points early in the fourth and after assisting on a basket by Stanavich that boosted the lead to 63-28, exited the game with the rest of the AHS starters letting the Lady Rams reserves finish a successful evening. Both Lopez and Beekman scored putting the finishing touches on the win.
“We try to get everyone in the mix,” Liverio said. “It’s nice to see the people off the bench come in and play well.”
Pritchard took down eight rebounds to go with her season high 30 points for the Lady Rams. Stanavich, Derosa, and Fedullo all chipped in with eight points apiece. Liverio and Beekman each scored four points, Flint and Lopez scored two points, May had one point with three rebounds, and Carmona contributed a pair of rebounds, steals, and assists for Amsterdam.
Nyah Thompson led Broadalbin- Perth with seven points. Mackenzie Smith contributed six points, Iannotti had five points, Bollart and Sara Kline each scored four points, and Adrienne Morreale and Lola Dicaterino both added two points for the Lady Patriots.
Amsterdam (8-1, 7-1 Foothills Council) has no time rest due to several games postponed because of the weather. The Lady Rams are scheduled to play at Schuylerville tonight in a make up of one of those postponements. The Lady Rams are using the loss to Gloversville as motivation, and the win over Broadalbin- Perth as a means to build momentum.
“The loss to Gloversville was a wake up call for us,” Pritchard said. “It showed we have to work harder, and keep working harder in practice. It’s good for us to be playing with all the make up games. It keeps us in our rotation and on schedule.”
“We weren’t happy with the loss to Gloversville,” Coach Duemler said. “We know we have to take care of the ball better, and we didn’t have enough change ups on defense against them. Now, we want to take care of business and play with the same energy we did tonight. Our focus now is on Schuylerville and then take it one game at a time and work our way through the schedule.”
The Lady Rams also have to make up games against Class A opponents Scotia-Glenville and Queensbury as well as a talented Syracuse Academy of Science team in a non league contest. The game at Scotia- Glenville has been rescheduled for Monday, January 22, and the game at Queensbury is set for Friday, February 2. No make up date has been scheduled yet for the game in Syracuse. The Lady Rams will be in action at home on Thursday when they face Johnstown. Tip time for the varsity contest is set for 7pm.
Authors Notes: With her 30 point effort on Monday, Giuliana Pritchard became only the fourth Lady Rams basketball player to score 900 career points. Pritchard’s efforts will be crucial as the season moves forward, and more important than getting to 1,000 points is winning the elusive Section 2 title. Monday’s win was a positive sign particularly from the players off the Lady Rams bench, who contributed good minutes throughout the game. Depth will be a factor for any team in the Section 2 playoffs, and having that experience off the bench is an important asset to the Lady Rams. Even bigger match ups are ahead as Amsterdam has two games each against Foothills Council, and Class A rivals Scotia-Glenville and Queensbury (both have only one loss), and the more game-time experience the AHS reserves and young players get, the better. The Lady Rams are among a group of teams battling for a top two seed in the playoffs. Both Averill Park and Holy Names have been winning against some tough league competition. The Lady Warriors recently defeated Shaker before dropping a close one point decision to Shenendehowa, and are playing like the best team in the Suburban Council. Holy Names Academy is still unbeaten after topping Schalmont in overtime last week. Every game is magnified and no one can afford another loss. The Lady Rams games against Scotia-Glenville, Queensbury, and South Glens Falls will be particularly decisive when playoff time rolls around in a little more than a month.