Their coach's wife had a baby earlier in the day. As a gift, the team went out that night and delivered a big win.
Amsterdam’s star guard filled it up, and the Running Rams, with a fill-in coach, completed a regular-season sweep of Scotia-Glenville Tuesday night.
Kory Bergh scored 11 of his 19 points in the second half, including back-to-back threes that all but clinched Amsterdam’s 57-46 Foothills Council victory forged under the direction of varsity assistant Scott Beatty.
Amsterdam head coach Tim Jones was with his wife Kim, who earlier Tuesday delivered a healthy baby boy.
“Tim has these guys where they are,” Beatty said after Amsterdam gained a first-place tie in the South Division with Scotia-Glenville. “I was fortunate that the guys played well on the night I stepped in.”
Amsterdam (10-2, 13-3) broke away from a 23-20 halftime lead with an 18-6 third-quarter run before the last two of Bergh’s five three-pointers highlighted the final frame.
“A couple weeks ago Tim said, ‘You’re on call.’ I said, ‘OK, as long as it’s not the Scotia game,’ ” Beatty said with a laugh. “I was nervous. I didn’t want to let the school down.”
He didn’t, and neither did Bergh. The senior also played a significant role with 25 points when the Running Rams ended the Tartans 52-game league win streak on Jan. 12 with a 58-52 overtime decision.
“That’s all I’ve been doing since I’ve been little,” Bergh said of his five threes. “That’s what I’ll continue to do until my arm falls off.”
The wheels fell off for Scotia-Glenville (10-2, 14-2) in the third quarter, when the state’s 12th-ranked Class A team was a outscored 11-2 down the stretch.
“We had at least six great looks on threes in the second half. For the most part we’ve made them,” Scotia-Glenville coach Jim Giammattei said. “To hold a team with that kind of firepower under 60, I’ll take that. You have to make shots.”
Bergh sank the game’s biggest shots after Christian Corker’s free threw got the Tartans within 48-37 with 3:48 left. The senior knocked down his fourth three on Amsterdam’s ensuing trip down, and after a miss at the other end, he connected for his fifth long-range bomb.
“I felt like those were nails in the coffin,” Bergh said.
“When we need Bergh, he steps up and takes care of us,” Beatty said.
Bergh hit a short jumper and Anthony Aponte delivered a three to give Amsterdam a 23-20 halftime lead. Keenan Holloway began the third quarter with a layup and Tysean Hanna followed with a three-point play as Amsterdam began to pull away.
“The third quarter hurt us the last time,” Beatty said. “We talked about playing hard in that third quarter.”
Hanna scored seven of his 14 points in the third quarter and also snared nine rebounds overall. Holloway netted five of his nine points in the third, and Bergh, who finished with four assists, contributed four points in the 18-6 run.
In the fourth quarter, Amsterdam thwarted Scotia-Glenville’s comeback bid by using plenty of the clock on just about every possession.
“If you asked me in November where Amsterdam would be at this point, this is it,” said Giammattei, whose Tartans lost two games total over the past three seasons and captured a pair of state championships “Give Amsterdam all the credit. That’s a good team.”
The first half was tied four times and included four lead changes before Amsterdam made its move.
“Getting these two feels really good,” Beatty said of the sweep. “We’d like to beat Scotia a third time if it comes to that.”
Corker and Sean DeGraffenreid scored 13 points apiece for Scotia-Glenville, and Dan Clune had 12 points, nine rebounds and three steals.
“It’s a great win,” Bergh said. “It’s a hard win because we didn’t have our coach today.”
Amsterdam plays at Broadalbin-Perth and Scotia-Glenville goes to Johnstown Tuesday to complete their league schedules. With a win, and the tie-breaker in hand, Amsterdam will advance to the Feb. 5 overall league title game against North Division champ Glens Falls at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The Tartans need a win and some help.
“We went 0-3 against them last year, so yes, it does feel good, but we’ve got to move on,” Bergh said. “We’ve got more things to play for.”
Holloway 4-1-9, Aponte 2-2-7, Rhodes 3-0-8, Bergh 6-2-19, Hanna 6-2-14. Totals: 21-7-57.
Corker 4-4-13, Clune 5-0-12, DeGraffenreid 6-0-13, Martin 1-0-2, TenEyck 3-0-6. Totals: 19-4-46.
Amsterdam 13 10 18 16 — 57
S-G 13 7 6 20 — 46
Three-point goals: Aponte, Rhodes 2, Bergh 5, Corker, Clune 2, DeGraffenreid.