AMSTERDAM — The Amsterdam boys basketball team seized the day in easily defeating Gloversville 50-25 in Foothills Council action on Tuesday.
Rams coach Tim Jones said his team not only wanted to avenge an earlier-season loss to the Dragons, but play with the sense of urgency they need to now that it’s February.
“When you get this late in the season, the talk is, ‘Guys, we’ve got to start playing better because sectionals are right here,’ ” Jones said. “There’s not a lot of time left. We talk about what a long, grueling season our sport has, but then when you get to the end of it, it’s like, ‘Oh, we’re here.’ So we just want to bring the energy and play better every night.”
The Rams (13-3 league, 13-5 overall) brought that energy on their Senior Night from the opening tip, spreading the wealth as they do so well, in taking an 18-7 lead after the first quarter. They even got a 3-pointer from senior Jovel Valentin, who hadn’t played at all before Tuesday, and two assists from Tyrell Douglas, a starter who’s working his way back from a shoulder injury.
Gloversville coach Ed Collar knew that the Rams, playing at home, would be motivated to avenge the 63-59 loss on Jan. 25. He felt his team wasn’t ready for it.
“It had everything to do with aggressiveness and intensity,” Collar said. “I felt they were banging us pretty hard, playing very physical early on, but the refs let them play that way, and we did not match their aggressiveness. Credit goes to Amsterdam.”
Amsterdam kept its foot on the gas pedal in the second quarter, scoring the first 12 points of the period before the Dragons (6-9, 8-9) scored. Junior point guard JaSean Vann was a key that quarter with six points, three rebounds and two steals. He finished with a game-high 14 points and eight rebounds.
“We were communicating more on defense, the little things,” Vann said of the Rams’ stellar first half.
The Rams’ zone defense, which morphs between looking like a 1-2-2 and a 3-2 zone, made the Dragons uncomfortable all night.
“They got a few baskets, and got more confident after that, and once that happens, it was hard to get it back,” Collar said.
In the third quarter, Amsterdam made a conscious decision to slow the ball down and work on running plays through all their possibilities. Even doing that, it still outscored Gloversville 12-7.
But with 5:47 left in the fourth quarter, all the reserves were in for good.
“We were able to do some things in the first half that led to that second half, and credit to the guys that they were still able to execute it,” Jones said. “Obviously, I’d like for us to be a little more efficient offensively, but that’s just the coach wanting a little bit more.”
Caesar Thompson added 11 points for the Rams, while Jhai Vellon had eight points and eight rebounds. Nine players scored for Amsterdam.
Giorgio Glionna’s 11 points and six rebounds led Gloversville.
The Rams are one loss behind leader Hudson Falls in the league standings, but the Rams have two games left, while the Tigers have three. Amsterdam next plays at Broadalbin-Perth on Friday.
Gloversville 7 4 7 7 — 25
Amsterdam 18 15 12 5 — 50
Gloversville scoring: Bradt 1-0-2, Dooling 1-0-2, Dorman 1-0-2, Rullson 1-0-3, Ja.Collar 2-1-5, Glionna 5-0-11. Amsterdam scoring: Vann 6-2-14, Thompson 5-0-11, Vellon 4-0-8, Azam 1-1-4, Dueno 1-0-3, Pleasant 1-1-3, Bartone 1-0-2, Heard 1-0-2, Valentin 1-0-3. Scoring totals: Gloversville 11-1-25, Amsterdam 21-4-50.