If you don’t score, you can’t win. Bishop Maginn ran into that problem Friday night on Amsterdam’s court, against the top-ranked Class AA girls’ basketball team in the state.
The unbeaten Lady Rams held the Golden Griffins without a point for long stretches to start the first and third quarters, and complemented their strong defense with a balanced offensive display in a 60-42 Big 10 triumph.
In holding its ninth opponent under 50 points, Amsterdam improved to 5-0 in the league and 10-0 overall. Bishop Maginn, which came in as one of four unbeatens in Section II, dipped to 3-1 and 10-1 after its lowest scoring output of the season.
“The way we started both halves definitely hurt us,” said Bishop Maginn coach Jon Desso. “The girls tried to dig themselves out, but against an opponent like this, you’ve got to play for 32 minutes. We played a quarter of basketball and didn’t score.”
And Amsterdam coach Eric Duemler couldn’t have scripted it any better as his Lady Rams won their 20th straight Big 10 game, and prevailed for the 31st time in 32 outings.
“One of the last things we talked about before going out was winning the first four minutes,” Duemler said. “We wanted to win the first four minutes in the first quarter and the third quarter. We were pretty successful.”
“We read some things about them wanting to come in here and treat this court like it was their own,” Amsterdam senior guard Megan Gaugler said after a 20-point, eight-rebound, four-steal performance. “We wanted to come out and let them know that this was our court. We wanted to set the tone right away.”
Gaugler did her part, converting a three-point play and dropping in a layup to begin the game, and generating the final seven points in a 13-6 half-closing run as the Lady Rams opened up a 32-22 advantage.
Brittany Stahura had 10 points, 10 rebounds and four assists for the reigning Big 10 champs, Ashley Welytok also delivered 10 points with eight boards, Hillary Rouse netted eight points, and Allie Zabo and Meghan Power both added five. Those five athletes, along with Gaugler and Michela Ottati, gave Bishop Maginn fits with their defensive effort, too.
“Our plan was to pack the middle, hustle as much as possible and get out to their shooters,” Gaugler said.
While Amsterdam used a variety of different defensive looks, it was particularly successful in its 1-3-1 zone, with the 5-foot-10 Gaugler harrassing on top and the 6-foot Stahura clogging the middle.
“It’s good when you’re able to show multiple defenses, and we did mix it up, but we went with the 1-3-1 after most of their made baskets,” Duemler said. “We felt that it would be effective.”
“We haven’t seen a whole lot of zone this year,” said Desso, whose team managed only six field goals in the second half. “It’s something we’ve been working on, but we still kind of stand around and watch, and it slows our tempo instead of attacking. We didn’t execute nearly enough.”
Stephanie Herold hit a three-pointer to get Maginn on the board with 4:05 left in the first quarter, and the Golden Griffins kept it close for a while, closing within 19-16 on a free throw by Mariah Stewart with 6:08 remaining in the second quarter.
Amsterdam followed with its 13-6
run, and began the third period with a 7-0 spurt. Maginn finally answered with 3:44 left in the period on a three-point play by Stewart that made it 39-25.
“We had to come out strong in that third quarter,” said Gaugler. “We knew we were up by 10, but they have a capable team that has come from behind to win some games.”
“They presented some tough matchups for us,” said Desso, whose team turned the ball over 21 times. “They were bigger at
Amsterdam — which is ranked No. 7 on the USA Today East Region
poll, led after three quarters, 47-30, and opened up a 60-36 advantage in the final period after Rouse’s layup.
Stewart 5-4-14, Herold 5-0-14, Osborne 2-0-5, Lyde 2-1-5, Calabrese 0-3-3, DeWitt 0-1-1. Totals: 14-9-42.
Gaugler 6-5-20, Stahura 4-2-10, Ottati 1-0-2, Rouse 4-0-8, Welytok 5-0-10, Zabo 2-0-5, Power 2-0-5. Totals: 24-7-60.
Bishop Maginn 10 12 8 12 — 42
Amsterdam 15 17 15 13 — 60
Three-point goals: Herold 4, Osborne, Gaugler 3, Zabo, Power.