Graduating two 1,000-point scorers has not slowed down the Amsterdam girls varsity basketball team.
The Lady Rams (6-0) continued their dominance over Foothills Council opponents this season with a 71-37 victory over Hudson Falls on Monday at Amsterdam High School. Amsterdam jumped out to a 24-2 lead in the first quarter and never looked back in posting its sixth consecutive victory.
“Once we knocked down a shot or two, we can then get into our [full-court] press and push the tempo,” said Amsterdam head coach Eric Duemler.
Any concerns Amsterdam fans had about how good the Lady Rams would be following the graduation of Guiliana Pritchard and Lucia Liverio have been erased by a talented sophomore class led by Jackie Stanavich, Antonia May, Andi Gannon and Charli Beekman. Stanavich and May, along with senior captain Elena Fedullo, are returning starters, while Gannon and Beekman have stepped in to the roles left behind by Pritchard and Liverio.
“At first, it was tough,” said May in regards playing without Pritchard and Liverio, “but our team has really come together.”
Stanavich has been the go-to scorer for Amsterdam early in the season. Entering Monday night, Stanavich was averaging 17 points per game. However, May has been coming on strong, as of late. She dropped four three-pointers during a 14-point performance in a 62-31 victory over Glens Falls on December 13, and she followed that with a 24-point night against Hudson Falls that included six three-pointers.
“I kind of got in my own head [early in the season],” said May, who brought her average up to 12 points per game with her effort against Hudson Falls. “Once I started making some [three-pointers], it felt just so much better.”
“She spent extra days in the gym shooting,” said Duemler. “It’s all about her arc. If she has good arc … she has good range.”
Gannon has been a force at both ends of the floor in her first year as a starter. Against Hudson Falls, Gannon scored six points, pulled down nine rebounds, dished out six assists and added five steals.
“Andi Gannon does a little bit of everything for us,” said Duemler.
Early season success is one thing, but Amsterdam wants postseason success, too. The Lady Rams have reached the Section 2 Class A final each of the last three years, only to lose to Averill Park from the Suburban Council each time. It’s a fact that is not lost on the sophomore class.
“We know if we want to go far this year, we have to come together and play well as a team,” said May.
“This is their team, so they have to create their own niche and their own style,” said Duemler.
There will be several tests for the Lady Rams before sectionals. After hosting Scotia-Glenville Thursday, December 20, Amsterdam travels to New York City Saturday, December 22, to play in a college showcase tournament. Then, the Lady Rams host their own college showcase December 27 and 28, where top teams from as far away as New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Quebec will play two games in front of NCAA coaches. Amsterdam has one game in the tournament, a December 27 contest against Hanover, N.H.
“The two showcases are really to expose our kids [to college coaches],” said Duemler. “The New York City event alone will have 75 college coaches there.”
But before they can focus on the showcases, the Lady Rams must first defeat a Scotia-Glenville team that has given them trouble in recent years.
“Scotia is a rivalry game. They’ll bring their A game, for sure,” said Duemler.