Amsterdam’s bid for a fourth straight Section 2 Class A girls basketball championship game appearance ended with a 63-51 semifinal loss to Foothills Council rival Queensbury Wednesday, February 27 at Hudson Valley Community College.
Amsterdam scored the first five points of the game, only to be out-scored 40-12 the rest of the first half by a Queensbury team determined to avenge an earlier loss to the Lady Rams.
“We were hoping, first time [for Queensbury] at Hudson Valley, they wouldn’t shoot the ball well, but they did,” said Amsterdam head coach Eric Duemler.
Hope Sullivan and Kaileigh Hunt were largely responsible for taking Queensbury to a large lead in the first half. Sullivan put the Spartans ahead for good on the second of her three three-pointers in the first quarter, and Hunt netted seven points during a 13-0 Spartans’ run later in the opening period.
Meanwhile, Amsterdam struggled with all aspects of its game. The Lady Rams missed numerous shots in the first half, turned the ball over several times against Queensbury’s full-court press and could not slow down the Spartans’ shooters. At one point in the first half, Amsterdam went nearly 10 minutes without a field goal.
“They went with a lot of man press instead of zone, which they played a lot of during the [regular] season,” Duemler said. “We scrambled around a lot and couldn’t get into our half-court offense.”
Jackie Stanavich did what she could to lead Amsterdam out of a 23-point halftime deficit. The sophomore guard scored 12 points and forced several Queensbury turnovers in the third quarter to help the Lady Rams close the gap to 53-38 entering the fourth quarter.
Amsterdam continued to chip away at Queensbury’s lead in the final eight minutes. A scoop shot by freshman guard Sydney Hoefs with 3:03 left in the fourth quarter trimmed the Spartans’ lead under double digits for the first time since the first period. The Lady Rams got as close as eight points twice before some clutch free throws by Cassidy Ray in the final two minutes put Queensbury up by 11 points.
“A lot of teams would have laid down, but we kept fighting,” said Duemler.
Stanavich finished with 16 points to lead Amsterdam’s offense. Sophomore guard Andie Gannon contributed 10 points, and Hoefs added nine points.
Hunt scored 18 points to guide Queensbury into the Class A final against five-time defending Section 2 champion Averill Park. Sullivan netted 15 points, and Abby Doin chipped in with 10 points.
Despite missing the final for the first time since 2015, Duemler said he’s optimistic about Amsterdam’s future with four starters returning, as well as several key players coming off the bench. He praised his sophomore class, which includes Stanavich, Gannon, forward Antonia May and guard Charli Beekman.
“Our sophomore class is very talented, tough [and] not intimidated by anyone,” said Duemler.