AMSTERDAM — All it took was a 3-point basket to set Yandeel Vazquez off.
The Amsterdam junior equaled his first-half scoring total with a hoop from beyond the arc midway through the third frame, and Vazquez just kept on producing as part of the Running Rams’ 74-51 Foothills Council win over Schuylerville Tuesday night.
“In the first half, I knew it wasn’t clicking, and I tried to contribute in other ways, like passing and rebounding,” Vazquez said. “In the second half, after I hit that shot from the corner, I felt it. It all clicked back in.”
Vazquez piled up 13 points in a 15-2 run to close the third quarter, starting it with a pair of 3s and capping the spree with another at the buzzer to give Amsterdam a 57-36 lead. The Rams were never threatened afterward in ending a four-game slide.
“The last couple of games, I was off a little,” said Vazquez, a 6-foot-1 guard. “Coming off a big win and scoring like that, it’s a good feeling.”
Amsterdam (5-4 league, 5-6 overall) saw its skid reach four games after a loss to Scotia-Glenville Friday. Two of the setbacks before that came against Class AA teams Bethlehem and CBA.
“We came into tonight with 10 [regular season] games left. As a team, can we pull it together?” asked Amsterdam coach Tim Jones. “I’m hoping so. This was a good start. We still have a chance to write some history.”
Vazquez scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half and also collected five rebounds and four steals. Kevin Perez had 14 points and seven rebounds, and Damian Colon finished with 10 points, seven of them coming in a 14-4 run to close the first half as the Rams went up 38-25.
“It was the energy,” Jones said. “The last couple of games, we didn’t have that spark.”
One player after another provided juice in the bounce back triumph, starting with Perez, who generated eight points in the first quarter with a pair of tough putback baskets.
“We got a lot of contributions from a lot of guys,” Jones said.
“We came out and played as a team,” Vazquez said. “We’ve got to keep it going.”
Owen Sherman converted a three-point play to get Schuylerville within 42-34 in the third before Vazquez hit a 3 and then another. Vazquez totaled five 3s in all, with his buzzer-beater to end the third and one more in the fourth quarter.
“We made a little push and he [Vazquez] bangs a three,” Schuylerville coach Matt Steinfort said. “Then he strokes another one from deep, and that gave them a lot of momentum.”
“Yandeel can get hot like that,” Jones said. “Last year against Scotia, on four of five possessions, he hit threes. Tonight, he stepped up.”
Schuylerville’s Alexander Vallee converted a three-point play in the second quarter to get his team within 24-21. Amsterdam followed with its 14-4 run that ended when JJ Rivera came up with a steal and dished to Colon for a buzzer-beating layup.
“That’s how you close out a half,” Vazquez said. “That’s how you play basketball.”
Sherman had 20 points, and Ryan Dow netted 12 for the Black Horses (2-7, 2-7), who saw their own losing streak reach four games.
Amsterdam made 12 3-point baskets and had just as many steals including three by Caydren Graveley.
Schuylerville 11 14 11 15 — 51
Amsterdam 18 20 19 17 — 74
Schuylerville scoring: Vanderhoof 1-0-2, Vallee 3-1-8, O. Sherman 9-1-20, Dow 4-1-12, Bowen 3-0-6, L. Sherman 1-2-4. Amsterdam scoring: Colon 4-0-10, Graveley 3-0-7, Ausfeld 3-0-7, Vazquez 8-0-21, Rivera 1-0-3, Perez 7-0-14, DeRosa 1-0-3, Clay 1-0-2, Douglas 3-0-7. Scoring totals: Schuylerville 20-6-51, Amsterdam 31-0-74.