Rams take on anxious Patriots

Amsterdam boys’ basketball coach Joe Agresta doesn’t expect much calm between the snowstorms. His Ru
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Categories: High School Sports

Amsterdam boys’ basketball coach Joe Agresta doesn’t expect much calm between the snowstorms.

His Rugged Rams travel to the Pat Riley Sports Center today for a Big 10 matchup with the Patriots, who haven’t played a game since Dec. 9.

“I think it’s going to be a battle,” Agresta said of the 2 p.m. contest. “I think they believe they still have some things to prove, and they’re going to be a little itchy because they haven’t played in so long. They’re going to be fired up to play.”

The Amsterdam-Schenectady game was part of the entire Section II basketball slate wiped out Friday night due to a snowstorm. Several other games have been rescheduled for today and tonight before more snow is expected to hit the area Sunday.

“Schenectady really wanted to play this game because they’ve been sitting around for so long,” said Agresta. “Our athletic directors talked about it Thursday, and they dicided if there was no game Friday, we’d do it.”

Schenectady (1-1 Big 10, 2-2 overall) defeated Troy in its last game 12 days ago, 61-40, and had two games postponed after that due to the effects of the recent ice storm that crippled parts the Capital Region, including Tuesday’s home clash with defending state Class AA champion Bishop Maginn.

“They’re kind of an unknown. They have three guys who have been around [veterans Derrick Millinghaus, Mark Blair and Reece Jackson], but we haven’t seen too much of the others,” Agresta said.

“We got some things from their game with Troy and I’ve talked to some coaches, but it’s limited. As a coach, you don’t want to go into a game not knowing too much about your opponent, but this is one of those games.”

Argesta believes that Schenectady will apply more defensive pressure than it has over the last two seasons, when the teams split in each.

“They’ll play defense, and they’ll come at us,” he said. “We’ve got to dig in, play our game and not get rattled. We’ll have some guys in there that haven’t been involved in too many Big 10 battles.”

Amsterdam (1-1, 2-2) kept its cool Tuesday at home against LaSalle, and beat the Cadets in overtime, 66-61, to successfully bounce back from a 71-63 loss to reigning Section II Class A champion Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons.

“That was a good win for us,” Agresta said. “We stuck around, and [Ben] Miseikis and [Phil] Miskinis played well in the second half.”

Miseikis scored eight of his 29 points in overtime to lift the Rams past LaSalle. The 5-foot-10 senior guard fired in 33 points against Bishop Gibbons, and also netted 21 in a 42-35 triumph over Niskayuna.

“He’s our best offensive player, and he’s playing with that mentality,” Agresta said of Miseikis, who is being heavily recruited by Colgate and Holy Cross, among others, to play football. “He’s scoring a lot of points for us, but what’s nice is he’s still doing the other things. He’s rebounding, playing defense and showing floor leadership.”

Millinghaus has been Schenec­tady’s top offensive player, reaching double-digits for the fourth straight game with a 22-point showing againt Troy. Jackson and team newcomer Shabar Fennicks both added 11 points in that win, a bounce-back effort after Schenectady’s 53-48 loss to Christian Brothers Academy.

Schenectady opened its season with a 52-40 win over Nazareth and a 68-65 loss to the host Plainsmen at the Shenendehowa Tournament.

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