SCOTIA — When Sydney Hoefs was inserted into Amsterdam’s starting basketball lineup midway through her freshman year, she effectively filled her point-guard role with her dribbling and distribution. She didn’t say much, though, and would often defer to an older teammate rather than unleash a shot.
“At the start of the season, coach said he wants me to be a leader,” Hoefs said. “Even though I’m a sophomore, he told me, ‘Don’t be afraid to be vocal.’ ”
No longer does the 10th-grader bite her tongue when she thinks she can help, and if a good shot is there, Hoefs will not hesitate to fire away.
She showed both her willingness to shoot and accuracy early on in Amsterdam’s 64-35 Foothills Council win at Scotia-Glenville Thursday night with a pair of 3-point baskets. She also assisted on a 3 by Antonia May and a layup by Andie Gannon in between those baskets to help the Rams race to an 11-2 advantage.
“I was open,” Hoefs said. “I had to step in and shoot it.”
Hoefs scored 13 of her 15 points and collected all four of her assists assists in the first half when Amsterdam (13-2, 16-3) was rolling a 35-8 lead.
“She has grown into that roll,” Amsterdam coach Eric Duemler said of his 5-foot-6 point guard with a scoring touch. “She plays above her age, and she still has room to grow. That’s the exciting thing.”
Duemler said the athletic 15-year-old is already gaining interest from college coaches.
“Every time we have a school in come to look at [juniors] Toni, Jackie [Stanavich] or Andie, they ask about her,” Duemler said. “The conversation at the end always goes to her.”
Hoefs is considered among the finest underclassmen guards in Section II in terms of reading a defense, handling the ball and finding an open teammate.
“She is an incredible player,” Duemler said. “She gets us into our offense against man or zone. She pushes it in transition.”
“He [Duemler] has been complementing me a lot about my passes and dribbling,” Hoefs said. “That makes me feel good.”
Hoefs has also been getting praise for her active work as the back-line player in Amsterdam’s 1-3-1 zone defense.
“I play the warrior,” said Hoefs, whose stat line Thursday included four rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot. “My job is to get from corner to corner and defend down below on the block. I like that position.”
Strong defense and a season-high 12 3-point baskets were key ingredients in the win at Scotia-Glenville (3-12, 4-15). Hoefs had four of those 3s, and May sank three of them in a 16-point effort. May had five steals and 10 rebounds.
“We shot the ball well tonight and had good ball movement,” Duemler said.
Gannon had 14 points and 10 rebounds in the Amsterdam’s bounce-back win after Monday’s loss to league-leading Queensbury. Jazz Corker led Scotia-Glenville with 12 points and three steals.
“They call us their rival,” Hoefs said. “We wanted to come out strong and show them what we could do.”
Amsterdam 18 17 16 13 — 64
Scotia 2 6 7 20 — 35
Amsterdam scoring: K. Hoefs 1-0-2, Gannon 6-2-14, May 6-1-16, Troche 1-0-3, Goodson 2-0-6, S. Hoefs 5-1-15, Lamont 1-0-3, Sculco 2-0-5. Scotia-Glenville scoring: Charnews 2-1-5, Corker 4-4-12, Crounse 0-1-1, Geniti 3-3-9, Getter 1-0-2, Nichter 2-0-6. Scoring totals: 24-4-64, Scotia-Glenville 12-9-35.