FORT PLAIN — It didn’t take long for Antonia May and her Amsterdam girls’ basketball teammates to settle right back into their old groove.
Nearly a year away from the court, playing with masks and spaced-out benches in a fanless gymnasium at Harry Hoag Elementary School?
As soon as May and the Lady Rams started running the floor Wednesday night, none of that mattered.
“It was weird at first, but once we got in that groove on the court, we were like, ‘Oh, this is not any different than any other year,’” May, who scored a career-high 35 points and matched a single-game school record with seven made 3-pointers in Amsterdam’s 78-16 win, said in a phone interview Wednesday night.
May, a 6-foot-0 senior who has signed to play at Division I UMBC next season, also had nine of Amsterdam’s 26 steals. A threat from 3-point range throughout her career, May put on an absurd shooting display against Fort Plain, draining 7 of 8 attempts from beyond the arc.
Her seven 3s matched the single-game school record set by Brittany Smitherman in 2002 and equaled by Brady Santiago in 2016.
“That’s ridiculous,” Amsterdam coach Eric Duemler said in a phone interview.
“My shot felt good,” said May, whose 35 points topped her previous career best of 34, set Feb. 3, 2020 against Glens Falls. “It also helped that all my teammates kept feeding me the ball and kept cheering me on, telling me to keep shooting.”
The game was covered remotely via livestream, as reporters were not allowed to attend.
Amsterdam, a Class A school and member of the Foothills Council, was facing Fort Plain, a Class C school from the Western Athletic Conference, as Montgomery County’s five schools are currently only allowed to play “high” risk sports against each other due to the county’s coronavirus infection rate.
May was one of four Amsterdam players to finish with double-digit scoring. Andie Gannon added 13 points, Jackie Stanavich scored 11 and Rosie Sculco — starting at point guard with Sydney Hoefs still making her way back from an injury — chipped in 10.
Stanavich, whose 2019-20 season was cut short by a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee, played sporting a knee brace and had 10 rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Stanavich scored the first points of the young season and found a rhythm as the game wore on, seeing minutes at point guard and showing a willingness to shoot from 3-point range.
“As the game went on,” Duemler said, “she looked more and more like herself.”
“It felt so weird, waking up this morning and thinking, ‘We have a game,’” Stanavich said. “It was definitely an emotional day for me. We weren’t sure about this season and where it was going to go. Just to put on the uniform today, it felt surreal.”
Amsterdam was dominant from the start, scoring the game’s first 17 points and racing to a 44-3 lead just past the midpoint of the second quarter.
Erin Crouse led Fort Plain with six points, as Amsterdam pressured the Hilltoppers into 39 turnovers — including 28 steals.
Amsterdam isn’t set to return to the floor until Feb. 18 at home against Canajoharie, as the team’s scheduled game Friday at OESJ was postponed due to injuries leaving OESJ without enough players to complete.
While Amsterdam is hopeful Montgomery County’s rolling seven-day average of positive COVID-19 tests will drop to 4% or less, allowing the team to schedule games against out-of-county competition before the season wraps up, for now the Lady Rams are willing to take whatever opportunity they can get to play.
“We’ll take whatever we can get, considering our circumstances,” Stanavich said. “We’re blessed to be one of the only teams in the area to be playing right now. We’re not taking anything for granted.”
Amsterdam 22 27 19 10 — 78
Fort Plain 3 5 2 6 — 16
Amsterdam scoring: May 13-2-35, Gannon 5-3-13, J. Stanavich 5-0-11, Sculco 5-0-10, A. Stanavich 2-0-4, Flint 1-0-3, Francisco 1-0-2. Fort Plain scoring: Crouse 3-0-6, Florian 1-1-3, Herron 1-0-3, Wilder 1-0-2, Hazard 1-0-2. Scoring totals: Amsterdam 32-5-78, Fort Plain 7-1-16.