Amsterdam simply couldn’t get its offense rolling against a stubborn Catholic Central defense Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the Section II Class A girls’ basketball tournament.
It was a low-scoring struggle for both teams throughout the game at Averill Park High School, but No. 4 seed Catholic Central used a strong start to the second half to open up a double-digit lead and then fend off No. 5 Amsterdam down the stretch for a 37-28 victory.
“If you would’ve told me we would give up under 40 and lose, I would be very shocked,” Amsterdam coach Eric Duemler said in a phone interview. “Tonight, we just didn’t have it.”
Tanavia Turpin scored a game-high 18 points for Catholic Central. Sydney Hoefs scored 17 to lead Amsterdam, but no other Amsterdam player managed more than four points as the Lady Rams were held to nine total made field goals.
Catholic Central led 9-5 after one quarter and 19-15 at the half, then opened the third quarter with a 9-0 run to lead by 13 before Amsterdam used a 7-0 run of its own to get within single digits heading to the fourth quarter.
“We had a few funks offensively,” Duemler said. “I mean, we scored in the 20s, and we average close to 60 a game.”
However, Amsterdam couldn’t close the gap over the final eight minutes and Catholic Central held off the Lady Rams’ challenge despite a 5 of 13 performance from the free throw line in the final quarter.
“They were aggressive and physical on defense,” Duemler said of Catholic Central. “We had 22 turnovers and didn’t take care of the ball. We didn’t win the 50-50 balls. They were the more aggressive team. It looked like we were a little nervous.”
Catholic Central’s semifinal opponent on Wednesday at Hudson Valley Community College will be No. 1 Averill Park, which rolled past South Glens Falls 81-22. Michelina Lombardi scored 18 points for Averill Park, which led 14-9 after the opening quarter before erupting with a 31-5 advantage in the second quarter. Sydney Hart’s 10 points led South Glens Falls.
On the other side of the bracket, No. 2 Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake powered into the semis with a 53-32 win over seventh-seeded Troy. Leading the way for the victorious Spartans were Carlie Rseszotarski with 19 points and MK Lescault with 15 points. Ava Mammone scored all 12 of her points in the second half for Troy, which was held to eight points in the first half.
Burnt Hills will next face No. 3 Queensbury, which advanced to the semifinals with a 63-47 win over No. 6 Holy Names. Kendra Ballard scored 19 points and Shea Canavan scored 15 for Queensbury, which led 25-23 at halftime before pulling away with a 23-10 edge in the third quarter. Sophia Bologna led the way for Holy Names with a game-high 27 points.
BALANCED SHAKER ADVANCES
In the Class AA quarterfinals, No. 2 Shaker moved on with a 62-39 win over No. 7 Saratoga Springs. Shaker was led by 19 points from Kaelah Carter, 17 from Kristen Foglia and 13 from Jaedyn Shomo. Natasha Chudy scored 14 for Saratoga Springs, with Ella Gennoy and Lauren LaFountain each contributing seven points.
Shaker’s semifinal opponent next Thursday at Hudson Valley Community College will be No. 3 Albany, which beat No. 6 Bethlehem 46-34. Shonyae Edmonds scored 15 points to lead the way for Albany. Bethlehem was led by Caroline Davis’ 10 points.
No. 1 seed Shenendehowa raced to a 63-34 win over No. 8 Niskayuna, getting out to a 16-4 edge after the first quarter and a 38-13 lead at the half. Jillian Huerter scored 22 points, Maya Carpenter scored 12, Bri Carey scored 11 and Kaleigh Montanez scored 10 to lead Shenendehowa. Kathleen Birmingham supplied nine points for Niskayuna, with Heather Schmidt and Rebecca Schmidt each scoring eight.
Shenendehowa’s opponent in the semis will be No. 4 Colonie, which beat No. 5 Columbia 59-51 at Shenendehowa High School. Down 18-17 after one quarter, Colonie used a 17-3 run in the second to take control. Four players finished in double figures for Colonie, with Jayla Tyler scoring 15 points, Gabby Martin scoring 13, Bella Franchi scoring 12 and Macie Trimarchi scoring 10 as the Garnet Raiders knocked down 11 3-pointers as a team. For Columbia, Leah Phillips scored 18 points and Kendyl Ouimette scored 15.