AMSTERDAM — There was an extra spark in the way the Amsterdam girls' basketball team played in the first half Wednesday night when it put South Glens Falls away.
There were a couple of reasons for that.
"It was a little nerve-racking," Amsterdam senior Kayli Hoefs said after the Rams 54-38 Foothills Council win. "We knew we had to pull it together for Jackie. We rallied together for Jackie."
Standout Amsterdam junior Jackie Stanavich was lost for the season Monday night when she took a first-quarter spill in a win over Glens Falls and sustained a torn ACL in her left knee. Hoefs took her spot in the starting lineup and helped ignite an early 14-3 run with a steal and a layup.
"She gave us an inspirational speech before the game," Hoefs said of Stanavich, whose 17th birthday was Wednesday. "I'm not going to lie. We shed a few tears."
And soon after the Rams (12-1 league, 15-2) were taking care of the task at hand, rolling to an 18-5 lead after the first quarter and to a 34-11 advantage at the break.
"They had energy," Amsterdam coach Eric Duemler said. "They wanted to play well for Jackie. We tailed off a little bit in the second half, but that first half was real good."
With its eighth straight win, Amsterdam set up a showdown for first place in the Foothills Monday at home against league-leading Queensbury (13-0, 15-1). Queensbury notched a 54-48 win over Amsterdam back on Jan. 6, and the Rams have been itching for a rematch.
"It's not the ideal situation, but we're in the spot where we wanted to be," Duemler said.
"We knew after the first Queensbury game we couldn't have any slip ups," Hoefs said. "We took it one game at a time, and now we're here. We want to win it [league title] and get another banner on the [gym] wall."
Hoefs will get another start when the Rams host the Spartans in a game that will pit state-ranked Class A teams. Hoefs was a pest on defense and moved the ball quick and with sharp passes against South Glens Falls. Her stat line included five points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal.
"Kayli is a senior, and she knows multiple positions," Duemler said. "I didn't want her to try to do too much, and she played well. She got some rebounds, but her big stat is she only had one turnover."
Antonia May totaled 23 points and seven rebounds for Amsterdam, Andie Gannon collected 11 points and 10 rebounds, Sierra Goodson scored nine points all on 3s and Sydney Hoefs finished with six points, four steals and four blocked shots while adeptly taking care of her point-guard duties.
"No one person is going to replicate what Jackie provides for us," Duemler said of the superbly athletic 11th-grader . "We need Goodson to be more of a spot shooter, and the other three starters have to bring it."
"We want to play Queensbury," Kayli Hoefs said. "We're looking forward to it."
May, coming off a career-high 34-point effort against Glens Falls, scored 13 first-half points Wednesday . The junior nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to cap an 11-0 second-quarter spurt when the Rams when up 29-5.
"We had to come out big and strong," said Kayli Hoefs. "We knew Jackie wouldn't want us to come out flat."
Hannah Breen scored 11 points for South Glens Falls, and Kate McDonough had 10 points and nine rebounds.
SGF 5 6 10 17 — 38
Amsterdam 18 16 9 11 — 54
South Glens Falls scoring: Lanfear 2-0-4, Robarge 1-0-2, Breen 4-0-11, Jprgenso 1-2-4, Hart 2-2-7, McDonough 4-2-10. Amsterdam scoring: Gannon 5-1-11, S. Hoefs 2-2-6, K. Hoefs 2-1-5, Goodson 3-0-9, May 6-7-23. Scoring totals: South Glens Falls 14-6-38, Amsterdam 18-11-54.