AMSTERDAM - Kory Bergh drilled eight 3-pointers for the Amsterdam Rams Thursday, including a buzzer-beater at the end of regulation that forced overtime against the Troy Flying Horses. Another three from Bergh in the overtime period gave Amsterdam the lead for good on their way to a 77-76 victory.
Facing the cream of the Big 10 crop in Troy (11-2 overall, 10-2 Big 10), Bergh went off for one of those games kids dream about while shooting around in the backyard. The sophomore poured in 33 points to will Amsterdam (5-9 overall, 4-8 Big 10) to their biggest win of the season over the league's top team and fourth ranked in the state among Class A schools.
"I've been coaching eight years and I've seen a lot of great players," said Troy head coach Richard Hurley. "I've coached a ton of them and I've seen a ton of them in this awesome league that we have and that was one of the greatest performances I have ever seen out of an individual player."
Amsterdam’s Kory Bergh (4) launches a 3-pointer over Troy’s Dyaire Holt (11) during a Big 10 conference game Thursday night at Amsterdam High School. (The Leader-Herald/Shaun Anich)
The Rams had lost four straight games entering Thursday and lost to Troy by 28 points at Troy in mid-December. According to Amsterdam head coach Tony Orapello, his team had a lot to draw inspiration from.
"The longer you stay with them they're going to feel you because they're supposed to be there," said Orapello. "We have nothing to lose and everything to gain. That's what we went in with."
Bergh put on a shooting clinic in the first quarter, spurring Amsterdam to an early 10-point lead. Bergh made his first basket of the game, a three, to put the Rams up 12-11. Bergh connected on three more from downtown in the quarter, including a corner three where a foul led to a successful four-point play. Bergh's quick 13 points were part of a 15-3 run for the Rams.
"I told [JV] Coach Jones that I was going to go off today and it just ended up coming to me," Bergh said.
While Bergh was quiet in the second quarter, the rest of the team got a chance to exhibit the scoring knack. The Rams got points from six players, while playing at a methodical tempo. Stellar Rams defense kept Troy's leading scorer Dyaire Holt at bay early on, but the point guard found his groove in what was a miserable third quarter for Amsterdam.
The Rams took a nine-point lead into halftime but were outscored 21-10 in the third. The Flying Horses came out of the break with a newfound sense of defensive intensity and ran their offense through Holt. The sophomore tallied nine points in the quarter, including a layup at the end of the frame that gave Troy their first lead since they held an 11-9 advantage. Bergh nailed two more threes in the quarter for Amsterdam, but the Rams found themselves down by five after Holt opened the fourth quarter with a three of his own.
"I said stick with what we're doing," said Orapello. "We've got to stop the run from becoming unmanageable. I kept saying no turnovers and get a good shot."
The Rams traded baskets with Troy early in the fourth, but used a 9-2 run midway through to close the gap. Andrew Rouse hit a jumper to put Amsterdam up 61-60 and later splashed a three to give Amsterdam a 64-62 advantage. With the score tied at 64 apiece, the Flying Horses pulled down three offensive rebounds in one possession before Maurice Watson tapped back a layup to regain the lead.
While Bergh may have predicted a big game for himself, no one predicted what would happen with less than seven seconds remaining and Troy up 67-64. After a missed free throw by Troy's Justice Walston, Brian Stanavich gained control of the ball and drove into the lane at the other end for Amsterdam. Stanavich lost control of the ball mid-shot, but recovered in time to tap the ball out to an open Bergh, who launched a game-tying three just milliseconds before the buzzer sounded.
"I know we had no timeouts, so either way a missed shot we have to get the board and try and get it back," said Bergh. "That's why I just followed the shot and it ended up bouncing to me and I made it."
The basket was Bergh's seventh of the night from beyond the arc. Holt scored seven of Troy's nine points in the overtime, but Bergh made Amsterdam's final four points of the game to take a 77-76 lead. Watson bounced a game-winning runner off the iron for the Flying Horses.
"We've played games where we've played well for parts of the game and this time we were consistent enough to hold it together so it came down to making a big shot," said Orapello. "Troy was definitely worried about us."
Marcus Pritchard and Alonzo Martin joined Bergh scoring in double figures with 13 and 10, respectively. Holt led the Flying Horses with 30 and was one of three Troy players to grab double-doubles. Holt and Walston each pulled down 10 rebounds while Watson had 12. Troy out-rebounded the Rams 45-28, but turned the ball over 17 times.
The Rams will look to avenge another December loss Saturday when they welcome Christian Brothers Academy at 7 p.m.
Amsterdam 77, Troy 76, OT
Troy14 18 21 1 4 9 - 76
Amsterdam24 17 10 16 10 - 77
Holt 12-5-30, Watson 6-3-15, Walston 6-2-14, Radz 4-3-13, Nicoll 2-0-4. Totals 30-13-76.
Bergh 10-5-33, Martin 4-3-13, Pritchard 4-2-10, Stanavich 3-0-6, Rouse 2-0-5, Valentin 1-2-4, Aponte 1-0-2, Robinson 1-0-2, Rodriguez 1-0-2. Totals 27-12-77.
3-point-goals: Amsterdam 10 (Bergh 8, Martin, Rouse); Troy 3 (Radz 2, Holt)