AMSTERDAM - The Amsterdam Lady Rams used smothering defense and ferocious rebounding to get past the Mohonasen Lady Warriors 33-23 Wednesday, earning a shot to face second-seeded Troy in the quarterfinals of the Class A sectional tournament.
The 10th-seeded Lady Warriors entered the game with a 1-17 record out of the Suburban Council and the seventh-seeded Lady Rams (10-9 overall) knew that neutralizing their leading scorers, Saeeda Abdul-Aziz and Maddie Egan, would be key to a first round victory. Amsterdam head coach Eric Duemler cautioned his team not to take Mohonasen's dreadful record to heart, as it is always difficult to get a realistic feel for teams that play in larger leagues.
The Lady Rams didn't click offensively Wednesday, but they held Abdul-Aziz and Egan to a combined 14 points. Four other players combined for nine as Mohonasen was held in the 20's for the tenth time this season.
Amsterdam’s Nina Fedullo is face guarded by Mohonasen’s Molly Sloan (33) during Wednesday’s Section II Class A first-round game at Amsterdam High School. (The Leader-Herald/Shaun Anich)
"We let 22 [Egan] get one open look but we did a nice job on their big kid [Abdul-Aziz] who's only a ninth-grader," Duemler said. "The girls did a nice job. They saw them on tape and they knew what they had to do."
Neither team could buy a bucket in the early going. Amsterdam's Monica Rouse tallied the first point of the game, a free throw, with 3:40 gone in the first quarter. Nina Fedullo got into the lane for three floaters soon after and the Lady Rams led 7-5 after eight minutes.
Abdul-Aziz poured in her first basket of the game early in the second to give Mohonasen an 8-7 lead, but it was the only lead the Lady Warriors would possess in the contest. With 2:38 remaining in the half and Mohonasen still up by one, Rouse kicked off an 8-0 run for the Lady Rams. Rouse scored five of her six total points during the spurt to propel Amsterdam to a 15-8 halftime advantage.
Class A First Round
Amsterdam 33, Mohonasen 23
Glens Falls 59, Alb. Leadership 29
South Glens Falls 54, Lansingburgh 28
Class B First Round
Fonda-Fultonville 48, Hudson 39
Johnstown 50, Greenville 29
Schalmont 40, Ravena 29
Tamarac 61, Bishop Gibbons 27
Watervliet 56, Albany Academy 24
Ichabod Crane 50, Stillwater 25
Class D First Round
Hartford 53, Bolton 43
"Mohonasen doesn't score a lot of points so they wanted to make it as ugly as they can and keep it as low scoring as they can and they did a good job of that," Duemler said.
The Lady Rams extended their lead in the early portion of the third quarter before the Lady Warriors made their most serious run of the game. After buckets by Caitlin Gannon and Fedullo, Abdul-Aziz stopped and popped from long-range to cut Amsterdam's lead to six and scooped in a layup to make the score 20-16. Mohonasen went 1 for 5 from the free throw line in the frame and struggled from the stripe all game (4 for 16).
Amsterdam also was deficient struggled from the line, hitting on 11 of 29 attempts.
They went just 4 for 12 in the fourth quarter, but got points from five girls to put together their most successful offensive frame of the game. Amsterdam also kept the ball out of Mohonasen's hands by pulling down numerous offensive rebounds in the quarter. The Lady Rams outrebounded Mohonasen 51-23 in total. Egan hit another three for Mohonasen, but the Lady Warriors failed to eclipse eight points for the fourth straight quarter.
Fedullo finished with a game-high 17 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to notch a double-double.
Several other Lady Rams contributed to the lopsided rebound differential including Guilianna Pritchard and Rouse who each had nine rebounds, and Kaitlyn Devine who grabbed eight rebounds.
The Lady Rams will now get their third crack of the season at the Troy Flying Horses. Amsterdam lost their previous two meetings by an average of 21.5 points.
"They're very good - defending state champs," Duemler said. "But we're not afraid of anybody. We're going to leave it on the line and play as hard as we can and let the chips fall where they may."
The semifinal matchup will take place at Troy High School on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Amsterdam 33, Mohonasen 23
Mohonasen 5 3 8 7 - 23
Amsterdam 7 8 8 10 - 33
Abdul-Aziz 3-0-7, Egan 2-1-7, Sloan 1-2-4, Brown 1-0-2, Roderick 1-0-2, Girard 0-1-1. Totals 8-4-23.
Fedullo 7-3-17, Rouse 1-4-6, Gannon 2-0-4, Devine 0-3-3, Pritchard 1-0-2, B. Santiago 0-1-1. Totals 11-11-33.
3 point-goals: Mohonasen 3 (Egan 2, Abdul-Aziz); Amsterdam - none.