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Queensbury girls end skid at Amsterdam

Queensbury girls end skid at Amsterdam

Spartans beat Rams for first time in Foothills Council play
Queensbury girls end skid at Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM — Inside, outside and on top of the Foothills Council standings.

That was the Queensbury girls' basketball team Thursday night after it derailed Amsterdam in a battle between unbeaten league opponents with superb drive and kick passing and a significant advantage in the 3-point department.

A defensive package that never let the Rams find their groove helped, too.

"We talked about everybody has to do their job," Queensbury coach Megan Bethel said after the Spartans beat the Rams for the first time ever in a Foothills game 64-45. "Credit the kids."

Hope Sullivan connected on half of the Spartans 10 3s in a 27-point performance, while everybody who saw action for the state's No. 8 Class A team contributed in some manner.

"Our defensive pressure and switching defenses was a key," said Sullivan, one of Queensbury's four junior starters. "Our ball movement and going in and out was a key. And rebounding, especially on the offensive end, because it gave us second chances."

Queensbury (8-0 Foothills, 10-0 overall) struggled in the first quarter against Amsterdam's pressure defense, but cleaned up its act and eventually pulled away in the second half to forge its 10th double-digit win. Hailey Ballard had 14 points, 10 rebounds and three steals, and Meghan O'Connor sank a trio of timely 3s in the second half to go with five assists and nine rebounds.

"We have wanted it since we were freshmen," Sullivan said of beating Amsterdam (7-1, 8-2). "It's been on our goal list."

Amsterdam knew what was coming, but could not stop Queensbury's effective inside-outside attack that last week played a significant role in wins over Suburban Council representatives Columbia and Ballston Spa.

"For three days we talked about inside-outside," Amsterdam coach Eric Duemler said. "They try to go inside and outside more than any team we face. The whole first half was lack of recognition."

"We wanted to use the whole court," Bethel said.

The result of Queensbury's work was a 10-for-24 showing on 3-point attempts. Abby Doin and Shea Murray sank 3s in an 8-2 run to close the first half as the Spartans opened up a 30-21 lead.

Amsterdam was 1-for-12 from beyond the arc.

"Our kids didn't shoot well," Duemler said. "They [the Spartans] shot well."

Queensbury used a quick 8-0 spurt to go up 38-23 in the third, with O'Connor delivering a pair of 3s to go with a short jumper by Ballard. Queensbury's knockout 9-0 run in the fourth quarter that made it 60-42 also included 3s by Sullivan and O'Connor after a three-point play by Ballard.

"It starts with our defense, getting rebounds and crashing the boards," said O'Connor, a junior. "That fuels our offense."

"We got open shots and they knocked them down," Bethel said.

Creating those open looks is something Queensbury's core cast has been working on for years.

"The ball movement? It's something we've been doing since third grade," Sullivan said. "We practice it every day."

Sullivan scored 18 of her 27 points in the first half, and Ballard netted 10 of her 14 in the second half.

"We have to play better defense," said Amsterdam sophomore Antonia May, who finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and five steals. "We have to play better as a team."

Amsterdam, which came in with a No. 25 state Class A rank, will get another crack at Queensbury next month.

"We want that game to mean something," Duemler said. "If we hold court and get wins along the way, it should."

Jackie Stanavich had 13 points, six rebounds and four steals for Amsterdam.

QUEENSBURY

O'Connor 3-0-9, Ballard 6-2-14, Murray 1-0-3, Doin 3-0-7, Hunt 1-0-2, Pepe 1-0-2, Sullivan 7-8-27. Totals: 22-10-64.

AMSTERDAM

Beekman 2-0-4, Stanavich 4-5-13, Gannon 2-1-5, S. Hoefs 1-3-5, May 6-2-15, Fedullo 0-3-3. Totals: 15-14-45.

Queensbury 10 20 17 17 — 64

Amsterdam 7 14 16 8 — 45

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

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