AMSTERDAM – Queensbury avenged its only Foothills Council loss in a huge way Thursday, dominating Amsterdam, 73-47, and taking over first place in the league.
Amsterdam entered the game wanting to build on its 41-30 win over the Spartans on Dec. 9. A second-quarter injury to point guard and captain Sydney Hoefs, however, exacerbated the Rams’ shortcomings in the game.
And there were several, most notably transition defense and rebounding. When Queensbury (11-1 league, 11-3 overall) got the ball, it ran hard and got a bunch of fast-break baskets. And it had the ball a lot because of a 40-19 rebounding advantage.
“It was more of an effort thing,” Amsterdam coach Eric Duemler said of the loss. “We’d score, they’d beat us in transition, get three or four shots every possession, beat us up on the boards; most of the 50-50 balls they won.
“They came with their backs against the walls. We beat them earlier, so for a chance to win the league title they had to beat us or it was over, and they played like it,” Duemler added.
Amsterdam (11-2 league and overall) had an early lead with Queensbury playing man-to-man defense, but early foul trouble on the Spartans made them switch to a 2-3 zone. With the guard combination of Deleney Donohuue and Brigid Duffy up top harassing the Rams’ guards, it allowed Queensbury to get back into it and take an 11-10 lead after one quarter.
Queensbury extended its lead to 25-17, but Hoefs injured her right ankle on an assist in traffic to make it 25-19 with 2:13 left in the first half. She gingerly limped to the locker room with assistance.
Duemler refused to put more emphasis on Hoefs’ injury than necessary.
“We were already starting to slip up before then,” he said.
Hoefs started the third quarter, but her cutting ability and speed were clearly compromised. She played about half the third quarter and about one-third of the fourth quarter.
Even with a healthy Hoefs, it wouldn’t have mattered this night, as Queensbury continued to rebound, run and pass the ball around like it was a hot potato – oftentimes forgoing a good shot for an even better one.
“It’s really all about teamwork at this point, and we’re really good at moving the ball and finishing,” said Duffy, a three-sport athlete and future West Point cadet who had 19 points, six assists, six rebounds and four steals. “In every game we play we try to move the ball as much as we can, try to run the clock down and get the best shot in the last couple of seconds on the shot clock.”
Queensbury kept extending its lead, up to 53-33 by the end of the third. The Spartans’ scoring balance was a sight to behold. After Duffy, Donohue and Dyllan Ray each had 13, with Donohue also grabbing seven rebounds despite being one of the shorter players on the court. In fact, most of Queensbury’s rebounds came from hustle and position, not height.
“We’ve been working on that, so when I see them do a good job on the boards, I’m proud of them,” Queensbury coach Megan Bethel said.
Aislynn Dixon had 10 points and five rebounds, while Kendra Ballard was the fifth Spartan to reach double figures, also with 10 points.
“It’s awesome,” Bethel said. “They are such an unselfish group of girls. They just have excelled at that, and every game they get better at that.”
Amsterdam was led by Ashley DiCarlo’s 13 points. Brianna Francisco added eight points.
Fortunately for Amsterdam, which has several slightly injured players, it has a week before its next game at Hudson Falls.
Queensbury 11 18 24 20 – 73
Amsterdam 10 11 12 14 – 47
Queensbury scoring: Donohue 6-0-13, Duffy 8-2-19, Ballard 5-0-10, Dixon 4-1-10, Ray 6-1-13, Canavan 1-0-3, Trowbridge 2-0-5. Amsterdam scoring: DiCarlo 4-3-13, Hoefs 2-1-6, Agresta 2-1-5, Goodson 0-1-1, Stanavich 1-0-2, Sculco 3-0-6, Lamont 2-0-6, Francisco 4-0-8. Scoring totals: Queensbury 32-4-73, Amsterdam 18-6-47.