AMSTERDAM -- In one of the biggest games of the season in the Foothills Council and the second meeting between the state-ranked Amsterdam and Queensbury girls’ basketball teams, both were without their biggest weapons.
The Spartans were without the services of senior guard Hope Sullivan and the Rams played without junior Jackie Stanavich, both sidelined with injuries.
It showed on the court as both squads struggled to score, but Queensbury's eight-point halftime lead provided just enough of a cushion to capture the Foothills Council title with a 51-46 road win Monday night.
"A little different from the last two times when they jumped on us and we were chasing them the whole time," Amsterdam (12-2 Foothills, 15-3 overall) coach Eric Duemler said. "This time it was a battle from the start."
Monday was the second contest for the Rams without Stanavich and their first loss.
"Not having Jackie hurts us in the long run on our defense and offense, but overall we played as hard as we could," junior captain Andie Gannon said. "We stuck with it through the end and we just played our hearts out. You just can't always win."
Gannon finished with a double-double, putting up 17 points, 10 rebounds and five steals in the loss in a tenacious effort to keep the Spartans close.
Down by as many as nine points with 90 seconds left, Gannon scored Amsterdam's final six points of the contest, but it wasn't much solace.
"It was just the shots that were easy for us to make in the first half would have really helped us out," Gannon said. "I knew I blew a couple layups, foul shots that could have helped us out in the long run."
Without Stanavich, who was on the bench in street clothes, the Rams are learning their new roles heading into the postseason.
"When you have players like Andie Gannon, Syd [Sydney Hoefs] and Toni [Antonia May], those kids are as confident as any kid that I've had," Duemler said. "It was nice when we had four of them, but we still have three, a lot of teams would switch with us in a second."
With just a handful of games left before the Section II Class A tournament begins Duemler is seeing players expand their roles.
"I thought Kayli Hoefs back-to-back now has come in and given us major minutes for a kid that was a 10-minute a game kid," Duemler said. "We just have to keep finding other ways to score because Jackie gets us so many easy baskets and transition baskets.
"I think we'll see growth in Toni's game getting to the basket, Andi and Syd getting more shots and in the long run we have everybody back next year and hopefully it makes us stronger."
May finished with 12 points for Amsterdam. Queensbury (14-0, 16-1) was led by senior forward Hailey Ballard with 16.
Queensbury 18 14 12 7 -- 51
Amsterdam 15 9 11 11 -- 46
Queensbury scoring: O'Connor 4-2-10, Duffy 1-1-4, Ballard 8-0-16, Murray 1-0-3, K. Hunt 3-1-7, Doin 3-1-7, F. Hunt 1-0-2, Ray 1-0-2. Amsterdam scoring: Gannon 4-9-17, S. Hoefs 2-3-8, K. Hoefs 3-0-7, May 4-3-12, LaMont 1-0-2. Team totals: Queensbury 22-5-51. Amsterdam 14-15-46.
Reach Stan Hudy at [email protected] or @StanHudy on Twitter