Lady Rams basketball back to high-scoring in win over Hudson Falls

The Amsterdam Lady Rams scored more than 70 points for the sixth time this season in an impressive 72-34 victory Thursday night over the Hudson Falls Lady Tigers at Amsterdam High School.

“I think scoring seventy points is more impressive,” Amsterdam’s Giuliana Pritchard said when asked what was the more impressive statistic, scoring 72 or allowing 34 to a tough Hudson Falls team. “Hudson Falls is a great defensive team, and I consider it a great accomplishment to find the holes in their defense and score 72 points.”

The Lady Rams found many ways to score with Pritchard leading the way with 30 points, most of them coming close to the rim. But, Pritchard added a three-point shot among her total, and was one of five Lady Rams to connect from beyond the arc. Amsterdam revved up its offense early in the first quarter.

Pritchard got Amsterdam on the board first with a lay up and a free throw for a 3-0 lead. Following a basket by Hudson Falls’ Brinley Inglee, Antonia May responded with back to back three-point shots expanding the AHS lead to 9-2. May’s six confident points ignited an 11-0 run by the Lady Rams with scores coming from Pritchard and Jackie Stanavich on fast break chances boosting them to a 14-2 lead. Charli Beekman added five of her carer high 12 points in the quarter helping the Lady Rams take a 21-11 lead after the first eight minutes. The Lady Rams continued to pour it on in the second period.

Amsterdam kept finding ways to score in the front court and from the back court. Pritchard took an assist from May then converted the ensuing free throw putting AHS up 24-13. Hudson Falls fought back with points by Madison Phillips, and Naesha Kelley, who led the Lady Tigers with 13 points as the visiting team cut the lead to 27-16. However, the Lady Tigers could not keep that momentum flowing. The ability to connect from beyond the three-point line by the Lady Rams never let Hudson Falls get comfortable in their defense. Antonia May hit on her third straight attempt boosting the AHS lead to 30-16 and started a 9-0 run in the middle of the quarter that again saw both Pritchard and Stanavich get inside the Hudson Falls defense and score. The Lady Rams were 10 for 20 from three-point range, and that helped open up the interior of the Lady Tigers defense giving Amsterdam opportunities to score where they are most effective, close to the rim.

“Our ability to hit the three’s kept them scrambling and they switched to a zone defense,” Amsterdam coach Eric Duemler said. “Ten for twenty from three-point range is impressive, but we’re a team that attacks the basket. We don’t live and die by the three.”

May dialed in again for her season best fourth three-point shot of the game completing a late 7-0 run that also saw Pritchard and Taylor Flint score giving Amsterdam a 42- 21 lead at the half. Some began to question if the Lady Rams all time record of seven triples in a game by one player was in jeopardy, but May didn’t score in the second half. However, it appeared three-point shots were contagious as Beekman beat the buzzer in both the third and fourth quarters with a three, giving her a trifecta from behind the line, and both Madison Carmona, and Kim Lopez made one each as Amsterdam knocked down five in each half. Not to be underscored however was the fact the Lady Rams defense held a Hudson Falls team that averages scoring 50 points per game to only 21 points in the first half, and an even more impressive 13 points in the second half. The ‘hands up’ tips and deflections defense in either zone or man to man format frustrated Lady Tigers players. One of Hudson Falls’ top scorers Kierra McCarthy was held to a season low two points. Other than Kelley, the Lady Tigers other four starters; McCarthy, Inglee, Danielle Kitchner, and Jana DePalo were held to a total of 15 points.

“We’ve been working on our defensive packaging,” Coach Duemler said. “To hold them to 34 points is more impressive than scoring 72 points against them. Our defense is getting better and better.”

That defense was consistent throughout the game including when the Lady Rams bench was on the court. More playing time also led to more scoring chances and Beekman (12 points), Carmona (3 points), Lopez (3 points), and Flint (2 points) all added to their career totals. The only AHS player to not score was Gianna DeRosa, but as the point guard the senior orchestrated the Lady Rams offense and collected a pair of rebounds and an assist in the effort.

“Our bench battled when they were in there,” Coach Duemler said. “I’m happy with them. I’m happy with the team, all ten of them.”

Pritchard added 13 rebounds to her 30 points giving the senior forward 13 ‘double- doubles’ for the season. It was also the third game in which she scored 30 points or better. Both Beekman and May scored 12 points, the majority coming from three-point range where Amsterdam put up a season high ten as a team. Stanavich added five points, Elena Fedullo scored four, and Lucia Liverio added one point for Amsterdam (13-2, 12- 2 Foothills Council).

Kelley added nine rebounds to her team high 13 points for the Lady Tigers. Inglee scored six points, DePalo and Phillips scored four points each, Kitchner added three points, and McCarthy and Danielle Hogan added two apiece for Hudson Falls.

The Lady Rams have little time to reflect on this win. Tonight they travel to Queensbury for a game with the Lady Spartans that was previously postponed due to a winter storm. Amsterdam last faced Queensbury in the 2017 Section 2 Class A semi-finals at Colonie High School. The Lady Rams won that contest 71-47 holding the Lady Spartans offense to only 3 three-point goals for the game. Queensbury boasts a lineup with several players who can shoot the three including Hope Sullivan and Meghan O’ Connor. The Lady Rams defense certainly will be tested again.

“Tonight was what we wanted,” Coach Duemler said. “Hudson Falls is a solid defensive minded team. We ran, rebounded, and shot the ball well. We needed to get back to scoring. Tomorrow’s another challenge. If we’re contesting shots then we can get out in transition and that’s an advantage for us.”

Amsterdam will be looking for another solid performance to stay on pace with Scotia-Glenville heading into Monday’s showdown for first place in the Foothills Council with the Lady Tartans at Amsterdam High School. Scotia- Glenville (13-2 Foothills) defeated Glens Falls 63-31 Thursday night.

“We need to play the way we did tonight,” Pritchard said. “Relax and play as the great team we are.”

Varsity tip-off for the Scotia- Glenville game is scheduled for 7pm.

Amsterdam JV squad still unbeaten at 15-0

The Amsterdam Lady Rams junior varsity team stayed undefeated with a 65-24 win over the Hudson Falls JV. Kayli Hoefs led the young Lady Rams with 16 points. Mianna Jackson added 11 points.

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.