The goals are no different for the Amsterdam girls’ basketball team this season. The personnel is different with a capital D.
Sydney Hoefs, who led the Rams the past several seasons, is now getting minutes as a freshman at SUNY Oswego. Sierra Goodson, who could play inside and outside, is now getting minutes as a freshman at SUNY Cobleskill. Ashley DiCarlo, who would have been the top returning scorer, is not playing basketball this season.
“We’re still a work in progress,” coach Eric Duemler said.
Hoefs, a Class A fifth-team all-state selection, averaged 21.2 points per game and directed both ends of the court, while Goodson could get hot offensively, so foremost, the Rams have to develop scorers.
Amsterdam does have returning players who have improved their games, such as seniors Rosie Sculco, a do-it-all type of player who was a Foothills Council honorable mention all-star, Sharazade Cooper and Anne Stanavich.
“Rosie’s a four-year contributor, Sha Sha’s a good kid, Anne’s a good leader,” Duemler said. “We’re entirely juniors and seniors, so that’s good, but it’s up to the younger players to try to step up to the level we expect.”
Duemler said the goal remains to compete for a Foothills Council title and play the kind of basketball that always has Amsterdam on opponents’ lips.
Other returning players are Jadiana Martinez, Natalee Agresta, Kasia Derrico and Liana Brown. Newcomers include 6-foot-2 Annie Fedullo, Ailani Aleman-Rivera and Canajoharie transfers Kaijah Fowler and Felise Fowler.
To Duemler’s point about expectations remaining constant, the Rams are traveling to Queens to take on downstate teams Kellenberg and New Dorp on Dec. 17-18. They also are playing Utica-Notre Dame and Proctor at their Amsterdam Holiday College Showcase on Dec. 27-28. After the Rams open the season Saturday by hosting Mohonasen, they’ll host defending Class B state champion Schalmont on Wednesday.
“It’s a group I really enjoy coaching,” Duemler said. “We’re still working some things out. Like, last year teams couldn’t press us because of Syd, but now we’re going to have to work through other ways of beating that. We’ve been hard on them, but they know it’s going to take some time and they’ll get it.”