Mohonasen edges Amsterdam for Class A title
GLENS FALLS — Seeking their first sectional championship since 1995, the Amsterdam Rams led three quarters of the Section II Class A title game against Mohonasen.
However, the second-seeded Warriors rallied in the fourth quarter then held off the top-seeded Running Rams through the closing minute to win their first Class A title since 2011 58-55 Saturday at the Cool Insuring Arena.
“It has been a phenomenal season, a phenomenal game, unfortunately not the result we wanted tonight,” Amsterdam coach Tim Jones said. “I want to give the nod to our guys for giving it all they had. It wasn’t like we laid an egg but Mohonasen won the game.”
Amsterdam senior Louis Fedullo and Willie Brown dominated the play early in the first quarter, combining for the Rams’ first 10 points to put Mohonasen in a 10-5 hole before Mohonasen coach Joshua Peck called a time out to settle his team down.
After Jared Abdul-Aziz made a free throw for Mohonasen, the Rams stepped back behind the arc with Jeff Brennan, Deanthony Colon and Brown hitting 3-pointers to stake the Rams to a 19-8 lead at the end of the opening period.
Mohonasen cut into the Rams’ lead in the second quarter with Duncan Tallman leading the way with seven of the Warriors 14 points, while Ozzy DeJesus and Fedullo hit four points apiece to account for Amsterdam’s eight second-quarter points as the Rams held onto a 27-22 advantage at the break.
Brennan and Fedullo helped grow the Rams lead to 11 points, 36-25 in a 9-2 run early in the third quarter before Avery Deas put up eight unanswered points and Nicholas Richmond hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 36 apiece with 2:22 left in the quarter.
Amsterdam responded with Colon hitting a 3-pointer and DeJesus adding a pair of free throws to help put Amsterdam up 41-38 heading into the final eight minutes of play.
Mohonasen battled back to take its first lead since the opening minute of the game 44-43 on a put back by Deas with 5:08 left to play,
The teams exchanged leads until Gregory Van Epps hit a 3-pointer with 1:16 left to play to put the Warriors in front 53-50.
Amsterdam stayed within a basket through the closing minute and had a chance to tie the game with 5.5 seconds left. With the Warriors leading 56-53 the Rams got the ball into the hands of Colon who launched a 3-point attempt that hit the rim and Brown got the put back to closed the gap to 56-55.
Mohonasen got the ball inbound to Tallman who raced across the midcourt line before getting fouled with one second left on the clock. Tallman hit both free throws to give the Warriors a three-point edge 58-55. Amsterdam got the ball inbounds but the length of the court throw was off the mark, giving Mohonasen the upset victory.
“We just didn’t get into our tempo,” Jones said. “Even if we didn’t get into our tempo, we still stayed in the game and didn’t give up. We battled and that is the test of a good team. Even when things aren’t going the way you want you are still able to stay in the game.”
Fedullo led the Running Rams with his double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds to go with three blocked shots, while DeJesus added 10 points, seven rebounds and two assists and Brown had nine points, seven rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block.
Brennan added eight points, seven rebounds and two assists and Colon rounded out the Amsterdam scoring with six points and four rebounds.
Deas led Mohonasen with his double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Tallman had 15 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals and Abdul-Aziz added with points and seven rebounds.
Tallman was named the tournament MVP and was joined on the all-tournament team by fellow Warrior Deas, Amsterdam’s Fedullo and DeJesus, Gloversville’s Dante Bouchard and Lansingburgh’s Trevor Green.
“I have to thank my seniors — Brown, Colon, Fedullo and Ryan Bradt — for leading for leading the program,” Jones said. “I just want to commend them and for the guys who are returning, they got a taste of what we want to do.”
Mohonasen 58, Amsterdam 55
Mohonasen 8 14 16 20 — 58
Amsterdam 19 8 14 14 — 55
Tallman 4-7-15, Richmond 2-0-6, Abdul-Aziz 3-2-8, Van Epps 2-2-7, Deas 8-4-20, Monroe 1-0-2. Totals: 20-15-58.
Brown 4-0-9, Colon 2-0-6, Fedullo 10-2-22, Brennan 2-2-8, DeJesus 3-4-10. Totals: 21-8-55.
3-point goals: Mohonasen 3 (Nicholas Richmond 2, Gregory Van Epps); Amsterdam 5 (Deanthony Colon 2, Jeff Brennan 2, Willie Brown).