Amsterdam advances to Class A title game

Rams defeat Gloversville in semifinals

Gloversville's Dante Bouchard, right, drives past Amsterdam's Jeff Brennan during Wednesday's Section II Class A semifinal game at the Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)

GLENS FALLS — Having split their two regular-season meetings, the Gloversville and Amsterdam boys basketball teams met Wednesday in the Section II Class A semifinals at the Cool Insuring Arena with a spot in Saturday’s title game on the line.

The top-seeded Rams won the third meeting, 77-65, over the fifth-seeded Dragons to earn their first trip to the Class A championship game since 1995.

“It is everything you strive for when you start up in November,” Amsterdam coach Tim Jones said of his team reaching the final.

The Rams had all five starters score in double figures, led by Ozzy DeJesus who had 26 points and 11 rebounds. Louis Fedullo had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Amsterdam, while Willie Brown had 14 points. Deanthony Colon (12 points) and Jeff Brennan (10) also hit double digits for the Rams.

Dante Bouchard scored 25 points to lead Gloversville, but he made just 7 of 25 shots from the floor, including only 5 of 17 from behind the 3-point line. Joey Rowback had 14 points for the Dragons, while Buck Galster added 12 points. Julien Deumaga added 10 points for Gloversville.

Gloversville's Joey Rowback (23) goes up for a shot as Amsterdam's Jeff Brennan (12) and Louis Fedullo (11) defend during Wednesday's Section II Class A semifinal game at the Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)

In the regular-season meetings between the Foothills Council rivals, Amsterdam won the first game at Gloversville, 69-62, on Dec. 1, while Gloversville won the rematch at Amsterdam, 85-79, in overtime on Jan. 12.

The Dragons started quickly, getting a 3-pointer from Deumaga to open the game.

Amsterdam answered with a 6-0 burst to take the lead on its way to outscoring Gloversville, 22-16 in the opening quarter.

Fedullo scored nine points in the opening quarter for the Rams, while Galster had five points to lead Gloversville’s first-quarter scoring.

The Dragons opened these second quarter with a 12-6 surge that was capped with back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers by Deumaga, Rowback and Bouchard to tie the game at 28-28.

Dante Bouchard, right, drives past Amsterdam's Louis Fedullo during Wednesday's Section II Class A semifinal game at the Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)

After a basket by Colon, Gloversville took its first lead since the first quarter on a 3-pointer by Rowback to make it 31-30.

However, the Rams outscored the Dragons 9-5 over the final 3:30 of the first half to take a 40-35 lead into the break.

Foul trouble plagued Gloversville throughout the game as the Dragons were whistled for 23 fouls, while Amsterdam had just 11.

“We got ourselves into foul trouble in the first half and it felt like we were battling uphill the rest of the way,” Gloversville coach Aric Kucel said.

The climb became even steeper as Amsterdam opened the second half with a 12-5 surge to push its lead to 52-40.

Amsterdam's Tristan Green (14) drives past Gloversville's Dante Bouchard during Wednesday's Section II Class A semifinal game at the Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)

Several of those baskets came on second chances, as the Rams won the rebounding battle for the game, 40-28.

“They killed us on the offensive boards in the second half, and I think that was really the story of the game,” Kucel said.

The Rams capitalized on their size advantage, getting the ball in side to DeJesus, Fedullo and Brown inside.

“That was our game plan, to get the ball inside and work from there, and then when we do kick it, we have to knock down shots,” Jones said. “At Hudson Valley [against Bishop Maginn in the quarterfinals], we were not as successful knocking down the shots. As comfortable as we were tonight, we looked good.”

Amsterdam outscored Gloversville 17-12 in the third quarter to take a 57-47 lead into the final frame.

Gloversville's Joey Rowback (23) goes up for a shot as Amsterdam's Willie Brown (1) and Louis Fedullo defend during Wednesday's Section II Class A semifinal game at the Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)

The Dragons scored the first five points of the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer from Galster and a pair of free throws from Bouchard to cut the lead to 57-52 with 6:35 to play.

Gloversville got no closer as Amsterdam emerged with a 77-65 victory.

“They made a lot of plays,” Kucel said. “I thought their role players really stepped up.”

Amsterdam (18-4 overall) will face second-seeded Mohonasen in the Class A championship game Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Cool Insuring Arena. The Mighty Warriors posted a 56-54 overtime victory over third-seeded Lansingburgh in Wednesday’s other semifinal contest.

“Any experience of getting to the Civic Center is huge,” Kucel said. “If we’re lucky enough to get back here next year, hopefully, we can make the most of it.”

Gloversville finished its season with a 15-7 overall record.

“The future is bright for Gloversville basketball,” Kucel said. “Our seniors — Esean Brown and Buck Galster — have helped lay the foundation for the future.”

Amsterdam 77, Gloversville 65

Gloversville 16 19 12 18 — 65

Amsterdam 22 18 17 20 — 77

Gloversville

Bouchard 7-6-25, Stanfield 1-0-2, Deumaga 4-0-10, Galster 5-1-12, Rowback 4-3-14, Jones 1-0-2. Totals 22-10-65.

Amsterdam

Brown 5-3-14, Colon 4-2-12, Fedullo 5-5-15, Brennan 3-2-10, DeJesus 11-4-26. Totals 28-16-77.

3-point goals: Gloversville 11 (Bouchard 5, Rowback 3, Deumaga 2, Galster); Amsterdam 5 (Colon 2, Brennan 2, Brown).

Class A Semifinals

Mohonasen 56, Lansingburgh 54 (OT)

GLENS FALLS — Duncan Tallman finished with 14 points and seven rebounds to lead second-seeded Mohonasen to a victory over third-seeded Lansingburgh in a Class A semifinal contest at Cool Insuring Arena.

Greg Van Epps had 13 points and four rebounds for the Mighty Warriors, while Jared Abdul-Aziz had 12 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. Chase Monroe added 10 points and six rebounds for Mohonasen.

Isiah Knight finished with 17 points to lead Lansingburgh, while Trevor Green had 13 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks and three steals. Mason Little added 12 points and six rebounds for the Knights.

Mohonasen (13-9 overall) will face Amsterdam in the Class A championship game Saturday at 4 p.m. at Cool Insuring Arena.

Lansingburgh finished its season with a 15-7 overall record.

Mohonasen 56, Lansingburgh 54 (OT)

Lansingburgh 15 7 12 14 6 — 54

Mohonasen 8 12 11 17 8 — 56

Lansingburgh

Knight 5-4-17, Little 5-2-12, Tario 2-1-7, Bessette 2-1-5, Green 5-2-13. Totals 19-10-54.

Mohonasen

Calkins 0-1-1, Tallman 6-1-14, Richmond 1-0-2, Abdul-Aziz 4-3-12, Van Epps 2-7-13, Deas 2-0-4, Monroe 3-4-10. Totals 18-16-56.

3-point goals: Lansingburgh 6 (Knight 3, Tario 2, Green); Mohonasen 4, Van Epps 2, Tallman, Abdul-Aziz).

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