AMSTERDAM — Senior nights typically follow the same script.
Seniors, whether they normally play heavy minutes or not, start things off. Then, after a few minutes, the team’s regular starters head into the game to restore order.
And Amsterdam girls’ basketball head coach Eric Duemler figured that was how his squad’s senior night would play out Monday.
His seniors didn’t cooperate.
They played too well.
“They were going to play for the first four minutes,” Duemler said, “and they were playing so well, so we just kept them in the whole quarter.”
They played significant minutes, too, later in the regular-season finale for Amsterdam, which closed out its Foothills Council campaign with a dominant 76-35 win against visiting Schuylerville. Starting along with sophomore Sydney Hoefs, seniors Francesca DeRosa, Kayli Hoefs, Grace Patrei and Emily Schaufelberg led Amsterdam to a 17-6 lead after one quarter, a period in which a DeRosa 3-pointer started a 12-0 run that put her team up for good.
“They played great,” Duemler said of his seniors.
Each of the four players contributed scoring for Amsterdam (14-2, 17-3), which led Schuylerville (1-15, 2-18) 46-11 at halftime. DeRosa had nine points and earned the team’s award as its top defender for the game, while Kayli Hoefs had six, and Patrei and Schaufelberg each added two.
“It was super fun,” Kayli Hoefs said. “We’ve all looked forward to it.”
“They’re like my sisters,” DeRosa said of her senior teammates. “I’m so glad I got to spend my last year with them.”
Sydney Hoefs scored 16 points, while junior Andie Gannon had a game-high 20 and junior Antonia May added 13. Those three players normally start, plus sophomore Sierra Goodson, while Kayli Hoefs has started for Duemler’s squad since junior Jackie Stanavich suffered a season-ending knee injury earlier this month.
“So for us [all] to get a chance to start, it felt really good to go out there and show everyone what we’ve got,” DeRosa said of the seniors guiding Amsterdam to an early lead.
Before the opening tip-off, there were some nerves.
“But,” Patrei said, “once I got out there, my team helped me up.”
“They’ve got my back,” Schaufelberg said of her teammates.
Schaufelberg is Amsterdam’s lone senior playing in her first varsity season. The team’s other three seniors are two-year varsity players.
“I knew that they would play hard,” Duemler said. “They looked really good in practice [Sunday] against our other girls.”
In the game’s final minutes, Duemler was able to substitute out his seniors to allow each of them to receive a round of applause from the crowd.
“It was emotional. It was a lot,” said DeRosa, the final senior to exit. “I’m going to miss the games. I’m going to miss practices. I’m going to miss all my teammates and coaches.”
For now, though, there’s still more season to go. Amsterdam will find out its postseason path Wednesday. Amsterdam projects to be a top-four seed in the Section II Class A tournament, and will head into the playoffs with plenty of enthusiasm after a successful senior night for DeRosa, Kayli Hoefs, Patrei and Schaufelberg.
“Very impressed,” Duemler said. “Very happy with all four of them.”
Schuylerville 6 5 12 12 — 35
Amsterdam 17 29 17 13 — 76
Schuylerville scoring: Vautrin 2-0-4, Barton 5-4-14, King 2-1-5, Koval 2-0-4, Haviland 3-0-6, Vianese 1-0-2. Amsterdam scoring: Schaufelberg 1-0-2, Gannon 9-2-20, S. Hoefs 6-0-16, K. Hoefs 2-1-6, Goodson 2-0-5, May 5-2-13, DeRosa 4-0-9, Patrei 1-0-2, LaMont 1-0-3. Scoring totals: Schuylerville 15-5-35, Amsterdam 31-5-76.