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Gloversville gets past Amsterdam, 69-44

Gloversville's Dante Bouchard (00) drives the baseline against Amsterdam's Jonah Clay (23) during Foothills Council action Tuesday at Gloversville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

GLOVERSVILLE — Tuesday’s Foothills Council game against Amsterdam did not start out the way Gloversville coach Aric Kucel was hoping it would.

The Dragons came out of the gate slow and had difficulty keeping pace with a fast start by Running Rams.

“We were back on our heels in the first half, and that’s not us,” Kucel said.

Gloversville senior Joey Rowback stepped up and put his team on his shoulders, netting 24 of the Dragons 31 first-half points. His scoring effort kept the game close and the Dragons backed up Rowback’s performance in the second half with Dante Bouchard netting 23 of his game-high 30 points to give Gloversville a 69-44 victory over Amsterdam and improve to 3-0 on the season.

“Joey was amazing, he kept us afloat when we didn’t have it going in the first half,” Kucel said. “Joey was amazing, and Dante didn’t have it going [in the first half], but he is going to find it at some point and he found it there in the second half for sure.”

Gloversville's Sam Getman (13) looks for an outlet around Amsterdam's James Shatas (50) and Jesus Rivera (10) after bring down a rebound during Foothills Council action Tuesday at Gloversville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

Tuesday’s game was originally scheduled to be played in Amsterdam, but was switched to Gloversville due to a leak in the roof at Amsterdam High School.

Gloversville opened the game with unanswered baskets from Bouchard and Rowback before Kevin Perez put the Rams on the board with his basket off an offensive rebound.

Rowback put up four more points to build an 8-4 lead before Amsterdam went on a 10-0 run to go ahead 14-8 before Bouchard stopped the run with his first 3-pointer of the night.

The Dragons amped up their defensive pressure in the closing minute and Rowback turned Amsterdam turnovers into points to close out the opening quarter with the scored tied at 16 apiece.

Yandeel Vazquez gave the Rams a cushion early in the second quarter, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers for a 22-16 advantage.

Gloversville's Giorgio Glionna (35) is challenged by Amsterdam's Yandeel Vazquez (5) as he drives to the hoop during Foothills Council action Tuesday at Gloversville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

Rowback kept his hot shooting going in the second quarter and his teammates got him the ball. Rowback scored the final five points in the first quarter and the first 13 points in the second quarter to put the Dragons up 29-26 before Bouchard was fouled on a 3-point attempt at the buzzer and converted two of the three free throws to give Gloversville a 31-26 halftime advantage.

“We talked to them about not being aggressive,” said Kucel about the topic of discussion during the halftime break.

And the team responded.

Gio Glionna made an aggressive power move off an offensive rebound to score his first points of the night.

The Dragons picked up their defensive intensity to spark an 18-4 run featuring 3-pointers from James Collar and Bouchard to pull ahead 49-33 at the end of the third quarter.

Gloversville's Joey Rowback (23) drives between Amsterdam's Peyton Ausfeld (4) and Damian Colon (1) for two of his 24 first-half points during Foothills Council action Tuesday at Gloversville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

“We have said the past couple of years that our defense is our best offense,” Coach Kucel said. “We force tough shots and long rebounds where we can get the ball and get out and go. We want to be in a fast-paced game and in the open court.”

Bouchard capitalized on Amsterdam turnovers as Kadyn Ruggeri often recovered deflected passes and fired the ball ahead to Bouchard to finish.

Bouchard hit four-straight 3-pointers as he hit 14 points in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter to put Gloversville up 63-37 as the reserves came on to close out the 69-44 victory.

“It’s just confidence. I think we just need to grow as a team,” Amsterdam coach Tim Jones said. “They do a great job over there, and they did a great job tonight. They were able to find their spots. That is a veteran group, and they are poised. We were there in the first half, but we didn’t close out quarters well and that hurt us. I told the kids that it is only the second game and we are going to be fine.”

Vazquez led Amsterdam (1-1 overall, 1-1 Foothills) with 13 points, while Kevin Perez had six points and seven rebounds and Jonah Clay added six points and six rebounds.

Gloversville's Joey Rowback (23) is challenged by Amsterdam's Jonah Clay as he drives to the hoop for two of his 24 first-half points during Foothills Council action Tuesday at Gloversville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

Bouchard led Gloversville with six 3-pointers and 23 second-half points in a 30-point performance, while Rowback finished with 28 points, 24 of which came in the first half, and nine rebounds, while Anderson Jones picked up seven assists and six rebounds and two steals from Ruggeri.

“It was just such a better mentality in the second half,” Coach Kucel said. “We were taking it to the basket. Other guys weren’t just standing and waiting for Joey and Dante to get going. That got us going, and then Dante closed it out for us.”

Gloversville (3-0 overall, 3-0 Foothills) will host South Glens Falls Friday night, while Amsterdam will travel to Hudson Falls on Friday.

Gloversville 69, Amsterdam 44

Amsterdam 16 10 7 11 — 44

Gloversville's Joey Rowback (23) drives against Amsterdam's Jonah Clay for two of his 24 first-half points during Foothills Council action Tuesday at Gloversville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

Gloversville 16 15 18 20 — 69

Amsterdam

Colon 2-0-4, Graveley 1-0-2, Ausfeld 2-1-5, Vazquez 5-1-13, Perez 3-0-6, Safran 1-0-3, DeRosa 1-0-3, Clay 3-0-6, Shatas 0-2-2. Totals: 18-4-44.

Gloversville

Bouchard 9-6-30, Collar 1-0-3, Dooling 1-0-3, Hunt 1-0-2, Getman 0-1-1, Rowback 11-4-28, Glionna 1-0-2. Totals: 24-11-69.

3-point goals: Amsterdam 4 (Yandeel Vazquez 2, Tyler Safran, Anthony DeRosa); Gloversville 10 (Dante Bouchard 6, Joey Rowback 2, James Collar, Garrett Dooling).

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