AMSTERDAM — The Mohonasen girls’ basketball team has already turned a corner in just its second game of the new season.
The Mighty Warriors shook off a slow first quarter, stayed true to its coach’s shooting philosophy and held off a late press by Amsterdam to earn its first win of the season, a 53-38 non-league road win Saturday afternoon.
Mohonasen (1-1 overall) dropped 19 second quarter points, including four 3-pointers, rallying past the Rams (0-1 overall) for a 23-14 halftime lead.
“They know my philosophy, if you’ve got an open shot, that you can hit, take it,” Mohonasen coach Josh Whipple said. “My philosophy is if you’re off, keep shooting till you’re on and if you’re on you better keep shooting.”
Mohonasen’s Caitlyn Richmond hit two of the Mighty Warriors four 3-pointers in the second quarter before cooling off in the second half to finish with 12 points.
“I’m so glad I hit those because it gave us a good lead,” Richmond said “We needed it badly, we really needed to get that lead up.”
Mohonasen held a one-point scoring advantage in the third quarter and handled the Amsterdam press late for its first win of the season.
“They’ve come such a long way with not getting nervous and turning the ball over,” Whipple said. “It’s part of the team chemistry. They know where each other’s going to be, they feel comfortable.”
Isabelle Petrocci scored a game-high 19 points for Mohonasen, including eight from the free throw line.
The Mohonasen squad was euphoric after Saturday’s road win.
“For a lot of these girls, this is their third or fourth year on varsity and they’re not accustomed to winning, but they stuck with it,” Whipple said. “They’ve worked hard, they’ve come to all the open gyms and to their credit they’ve done everything they’ve been asked to do.”
Meanwhile Amsterdam is looking to improve quickly as it adjusts to players starting new roles.
“We’re a work in progress, we’re blending a lot of new kids together, new kids on varsity and new roles,” Amsterdam coach Eric Duemler said.
Amsterdam committed 16 turnovers, shot 10-of-22 from the free throw line and sank just two 3-point shots in the season-opening loss.
“As they gain experience, this team that we are today, mark my words, in a month we’ll be a different team,” Duemler said. “In two months teams will not want to play us because we’ll be locked in. We’re learning a lot of new things right now.”
Amsterdam was led by Natalee Agresta’s 10-point night while senior Kaijah Fowler made her presence felt with a nine-point, 13-rebound effort in the loss.
“We don’t have quite the athletes as some of our other teams, but we still have enough to do it,” Duemler said. “Where other teams that we might have had in the past were stronger, the improvements were in smaller increments. We’re going to make larger incremental improvements because we have that kind of potential.
“That’s a big thing, I’m excited to see that improvement. We’ll see it live. We’ll see it in practice, we’ll see it on film.”
MOHONASEN 53, AMSTERDAM 38
Rifenburg 1-0-2, Petrocci 5-8-19, Whipple 3-0-8, Richmond 5-0-12, Clute 3-3-10, Quenneville 1-0-2. Team totals: 18-11-53.
Fedullo 1-3-5, Cooper 1-2-4, K. Fowler 3-2-9, Agresta 4-2-10, F. Fowler 1-3-5, Sculco 1-0-3, Brown 1-0-2. Team totals: 12-12-38.
3-point goals: Mohonasen 6, Amsterdam 2.