Bishop Maginn roared back from a huge first-half deficit, and knocked off Shaker last week to remain one of Section II’s four unbeaten girls’ basketball teams.
“We were down by 22, and battled back. That’s been the story of our season. We’ve fallen behind, and come back several times,” Bishop Maginn coach Jon Desso said. “That’s something we’re going to try to avoid up at Amsterdam, getting behind. We want to get off to a good start.”
Desso is hopeful of that, and a strong finish, as well, in tonight’s Big 10 clash with the nationally recognized and also unbeaten Lady Rams.
Amsterdam is 4-0 in the league, 9-0 overall, ranked No. 1 in the state in Class AA, and ranked No. 7 on the USA Today East Region poll and by MaxPreps. Bishop Maginn is 3-0 in the league, and at 10-0 overall, already owns two more wins than it totaled last season.
“I’ve seen a couple of their games and they’re an impressive team. They return the majority of their team, and they’re not only very, very experienced, but tremendously talented,” Desso said of the defending Big 10 champion Rams, who have won 30 of their last 31 games. “We’ve got to play a full 32 minutes. We’ve got to go out and defend and control the boards, and find a way to attack their 1-3-1 zone defense.”
Bishop Maginn found a way to get it done in every outing of 2007, winning seven of its games by eight points or less. Before its 62-54 win against Shaker, the Golden Griffins edged Guilderland, 49-47, and Schenectady, 55-52. They also had their hands full against another Big 10 foe, Catholic Central, in a 50-47 victory.
“I’m hoping that plays into our favor,” Desso said. “We figure it’s going to be a hard game. Having been in a few of those situations, and come out on top, we’ve learned from those situations.”
Amsterdam coach Eric Duemler expects a serious tussle from the Golden Griffins, who were no match for his Lady Rams in a pair of games last season.
“We have Albany (2-0, 8-1) in a week, but right now, our focus is strictly on Bishop Maginn,” he said. “They’re coming to our house, and they want to beat us. They’re hungry. They want to be the top team. We have to be able to rise up and protect our house.”
Like Bishop Maginn, Amsterdam has
answered all challenges, with a stunning 59-49 early-season win over state power Christ the King serving as its springboard to national prominence. The Lady Rams dealt John F. Kennedy (Bronx, 8-1) its first loss last week, 51-47.
“Not only do we have the experience of the previous season, but this year, too,” Duemler said. “We played a slowdown, physical game with Schenectady, and went up and down with Christ the King. We went against fullcourt pressure against JFK, and we were in a shootout with Catholic Central. The kids have been in every kind of game, and they’ve learned from those games.
“We’ve been there. Been through it, and though that can certainly help us, we still have to execute.”
Bishop Maginn’s all-underclassmen starting lineup will include
6-foot scoring leader Mariah Stewart (17.2 ppg.), center QuiEssence Price and guards Stephanie Herold (11.6 ppg.), Alex Osborne (9.9 ppg) and Janae Lyde (8 ppg).
“They’re a very tough defensive team. That’s what triggers their offense and gets them in transition,” Desso said of the Rams. “They have a very tough, very aggressive defense.”
They also have an attack similar to Bishop Maginn’s, with a quality frontcourt scorer in 6-foot Brittany Stahura (12.7 ppg) and capable three-point shooters in guards
Megan Gaugler (14.6 ppg) and
Michela Ottati (8.7 ppg). Forwards Ashley Welytok and Hillary Rouse will also start, and Megan Power and Allie Zabo will come off the bench.
Jake Bowman scored 22 points to surpass 1,000 for his career, and unbeaten Schenectady Christian
(4-0, 8-0) rolled to an 80-51 Western Athletic Conference win at Sharon Springs (0-6, 1-8) Thursday night.
The victory was the 200th for Falcons coach Chad Bowman. Jake Bowman upped his varsity total to 1,018 points, and became the school’s fifth boy to reach the milestone.
David Dingman collected 16 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals, and David Briski had 21 points and eight boards as Coxsackie-Athens (3-5, 3-6) defeated Greenville, 65-54, in the over Patroon Conference.
WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
SCHENECTADY CHRISTIAN 80,
SHARON SPRINGS 51
Brundage 3-0-7, Collins 4-2-14, Serafimovski 7-1-17, Compton 1-0-2, Bowman 10-2-22, Bishop 5-2-16, McCarty 1-0-2. Totals: 31-7-80.
Countryman 3-2-8, Klinker 2-0-4, Schilde 2-0-4, Ullman 8-1-20, Baker 3-0-6, Perrotti 4-1-9. Totals: 22-4-51.
Schenectady Christ. 11 26 26 17 — 80
Sharon Springs 12 13 10 16 — 51
Three-point goals: Brundage, Collins 4, Serafimovski 2, Bishop 4, Ullman 3.
COXSACKIE-ATHENS 65, GREENVILLE 54
Beamon 2-1-5, Bentley 5-1-13, Will Grimmond 5-2-12, Clark 5-2-13, Keefer 3-1-7, Lehnert 2-0-4. Totals: 22-7-54.
Briski 7-4-21, DeVinney 1-0-2, Dingman 6-2-16, Lenane 4-0-10, McLaughlin 1-0-2, Simmins 1-1-3, Tailleur 4-2-11. Totals: 24-9-65.
Greenville 13 9 15 17 — 54
Coxsackie-Athens 14 14 18 19 — 65
Three-point goals: Bentley 2, Clark, Briski 3, Dingman 2, Lenane 2, Tailleur.
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