Third-quarter surge lifts Dragons past Rams

Gloversville's Julien Deumaga (4) lays the ball off the backboard for a basket during Foothills Council action against Amsterdam Friday at Gloversville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

GLOVERSVILLE — After the Amsterdam Rams ripped off seven points in the opening 70 seconds, Gloversville coach Aric Kucel quickly called a time out to give the Dragons a chance to regroup.

“We let a guy get open for a three and then a turnover led to a basket, so we got on them,” Kucel said. “That’s not Dragon basketball. We had to come out and play a lot harder than that. We weren’t playing hard enough and not playing smart enough.”

The Dragons responded with an 8-2 run to get back in the game and then the lead early in the second quarter. After a back-and-forth battle with the Rams through the remainder of the first half, the Dragons got a seven-point run from Joey Rowback at the start of the second half and never looked back as they recorded their eighth-straight victory with a 67-54 win over the Rams Friday night at Gloversville High School.

Damian Colon got the Rams off to their quick start, hitting a basket and a 3-pointer to go with a put back from Jeffrey Brennan. After Gloversville closed to gap to a single point, 9-8, Caydren Graveley stepped up on the inside and helped Amsterdam build a 15-11 advantage at the end of the period.

Dante Bouchard scored five quick points to start the second quarter and give Gloversville a 16-15 lead that they stretched to 21-15 before Graveley got a hot hand, hitting three 3-pointers and a free throw to put the score at 26-25 in favor of the Dragons.

Gloversville's Kayden Ruggeri (11) battles with Amsterdam's Jeffrey Brennan (12) and Peyton Ausfeld (4) for a rebound during Foothills Council action Friday at Gloversville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

Peyton Ausfeld then put Amsterdam back in the lead with his 3-pointer and Graveley hit a field goal to take the lead to 30-26 before Bouchard hit a three and Julien Deumaga laid the ball in to give Gloversville a 31-390 halftime lead.

Rowback went on a scoring run, scoring the Dragons first nine points of the second half and Bouchard drove to the hoop to give Gloversville a 42-32 lead before Colon hit a three to break the run.

The Rams cut the lead to five, 42-37, before Bouchard converted a pair of free throws and hit another 3-pointer followed by a put back by Kayden Ruggeri to take the lead to 49-37 heading into the final stanza.

“One thing we have been talking a lot about is getting consecutive stops, stringing three stops together,” Kucel said. “To me that is a game breaker for us where we can open up leads. If we get one stop then give up a bucket then it is going to be a close game. If we get three stops in a row then we are going to score. Our defense feeds our offense.”

The Dragons maintained their advantage in the final period to lock up the victory and deal Amsterdam its fifth-straight loss.

“We tried to establish ourselves inside a little bit more and Gloversville’s energy in the second half was great,” Amsterdam coach Tim Jones said. “We are still learning to play together and every day is a process of getting better. I saw some growth tonight in this group and individually in some players. We can build off that as we head for home for the first time in a while.”

Colon led the Rams with 20 points, including four 3-pointers, while Graveley had three 3-pointers in his 18-point, seven rebound effort and Kevin Perez grabbed nine rebounds to go with five points on the night.

Bouchard led Gloversville with 30 points including four 3-pointers, and three assists, while Rowback had 15 points and nine rebounds and Deumaga pulled down 17 rebounds, including nine on the offensive board, to go with seven points. Ruggeri chipped in with eight points and seven rebounds and Anderson Jones added five points, four assists and six rebounds.

“I thought both teams adjusted well to the officiating. They were letting a lot of things go on the inside,” Kucel said. “We knew it was going to be a brawl under the boards tonight. Jewels [Deumaga] was huge on the boards tonight and Joey was too. Getting those extra possession was a key for us tonight because we really didn’t shoot that well. Credit our kids, they found another way to win tonight and that was on the offensive boards.”

Gloversville (11-1 overall, 9-1 Foothills) will travel to face Scotia-Glenville Friday before heading to the Washington Avenue Armory on Jan. 19 to play Glens Falls at 6:30 p.m. as part of the SLAM North/South Classic.

Amsterdam (5-7 overall, 5-5 Foothills) will host Broadalbin-Perth on Tuesday and Johnstown Friday night at Amsterdam High School.

Gloversville 67, Amsterdam 54

Amsterdam 15 15 7 17 — 54

Gloversville 11 20 18 18 — 67


Colon 6-4-20, Ausfeld 2-2-7, Perez 2-0-5, Brennan 1-0-2, Graveley 7-1-18, Clay 1-0-2. Totals: 19-7-54.


Bouchard 10-6-30, Stanfield 1-0-2, Deumaga 3-1-7, Ruggeri 4-0-8, Rowback 7-1-15, Jones 2-0-5. Totals: 27-8-67.

3-point goals: Amsterdam 9 (Damian colon 4, Caydren Graveley 3, Kevin Perez, Peyton Ausfeld); Gloversville 5 (Dante Bouchard 4, Anderson Jones).