TROY - Andrew Rouse spent a good portion of the second half of Sunday's Section II Class A quarterfinal on the bench. But when he got in the game, he made an impact on the outcome.
The senior guard capped off an Amsterdam rally to erase a 10-point deficit to Averill Park with a game-tying 3-pointer, his first points of the game, with 2.5 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime. Rouse then built on his success, recording a steal, which he carried to the hoop for a go-ahead layup with 38-seconds left in overtime as well as hitting 3-of-4 free throws and grabbing a defensive rebound in the final 30 seconds to propel the Running Rams into the Section II Class A final four with a 64-61 overtime victory against No. 4 Averill Park Sunday at Hudson Valley Community College.
"The ball kind of bounced around and hit Marcus [Pritchard] at the top of the key," Rouse said of the events leading up to his game-tying shot. "Before I went in coach told me to be ready to shoot. I called for the ball quick and just tried to keep my form and it went in. [In overtime] I got a steal and a layup that put us up one and then was able to hit the foul shots. It was a team effort though and everybody contributed. We can't wait [to play at the Civic Center]. It has been a while since Amsterdam has been there and we are excited and ready."
Amsterdam’s Andrew Rouse (1) drives the ball against Averill Park’s Myles Joyce (20) during Sunday’s Section II Class A quarterfinal game at Hudson Valley Community College.
The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis
Fifth-seeded Amsterdam will play top-seeded Scotia-Glenville in a Class A semifinal at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Glens Falls Civic Center. No. 3 Gloversville and second-seeded Troy will play the other semifinal game at 6 p.m. The winners advance to the championship game at 7:15 p.m. Saturday at the Civic Center.
Scotia advanced with a 72-40 win over Lansingburgh, while Troy beat Mohonasen 62-48 and Gloversville defeated Queensbury, 68-48.
The game got off to an auspicious start as the lights in the gym went out 1:19 into the game with Averill Park leading 2-0.
When the game resumed after a 15-minute delay, Kory Bergh broke free for a pair of 3-pointers to help the Running Rams take a 7-6 lead. Bergh remained hot, hitting for a third 3-pointer and a lay up off an Averill Park turnover to give Amsterdam a 14-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Warriors went on a 10-2 run early in the second period but could not pull away from Amsterdam as Averill Park held onto a 26-24 advantage at the break.
The Warriors built their lead to 10, 38-28 midway through the third quarter before the Running Rams began chipping away at the lead.
Amsterdam cut the lead to two with 3:40 remaining after a 3-pointer and a field goal from Alonzo Martin put the score at 47-45.
The Warriors again took the lead to five, 53-48, before Marcus Pritchard converted a pair of free throws and finished off a pass from Rouse to draw the Rams to within a bucket, 54-52.
Kyle Ernest converted 1 of 2 free throws with 18.5 seconds left in regulation to put the score at 55-52.
Amsterdam got the ball up court quickly and worked it around the perimeter of the Warriors zone defense before Rouse got the ball and launched his game-tying shot with 2.5 seconds showing on the clock.
The Warriors attempted a long inbounds pass but James Valentin broke up the attempt, sending the game into overtime.
"I was trying to keep them focused and told them it is a long game," Amsterdam coach Tony Orapello said. "We have been down that much with eight minutes left and caught teams. We never lost our composure and right down to the wire I told them we don't quit, keep playing and no crazy shots. Work to get a good shot and they did."
Averill Park converted on 3 of 6 free throws and held the Rams scoreless through the opening 2:44 of the four minute overtime.
Brian Stanavich broke the Rams' scoring drought with a pair of successful free throws before Rouse stole the ball and drove the length of the court for a lay in and a 59-58 Amsterdam lead with 38 seconds remaining.
The Rams drew an offensive foul on the Warriors inbound play, getting the ball back under their basket, leading to Rouse be fouled and converting two free throws to take the lead to 61-58.
Rouse cleared the defensive glass on an Averill Park missed shot and fed the ball forward to Valentin, who was fouled and converted two free throws to make it a two possession game for the Rams, 63-58.
Rouse was fouled again after another Averill Park miss and converted one of his two free throws to lock up the Rams trip to the Civic Center, 64-61.
Bergh hit four 3-pointers en route to his game-high 18 points, while Pritchartd finished with 15 and Rouse had eight.
Myles Joyce paced Averill Park with 18 points, while Fahrenkopf had 11 and Isaiah Moak added 10.
Amsterdam 64, Averill Park 61, OT
Amsterdam14 10 12 19 9 - 64
Averill Park11 15 17 12 6 - 61
Pritchard 5-5-15, Brrgh 7-0-18, Stanavich 1-4-6, Druziak, 1-4-6, Valentin 2-2-6, Martin 2-0-5, Rouse 2-3-8. Totals: 20-18-64.
Sears 2-0-4, Yetto2-2-6, Fahrenkopf 4-2-11, Joyce 5-5-18, Moak 2-5-10, Ernest 1-2-4, Coffee 2-1-5, Radzminsky 0-1-1, Rollins 1-0-2. Totals: 19-18-61.
3-point goals: Amsterdam 6 (Kory Bergh 4, Alonzo Martin, Rouse); Averill Park 5 (Myles Joyce 3, Logan Fahrenkopf, Isaiah Moak).