Gloversville gets past Amsterdam, 74-56

PHOTOGRAPHER:
Amsterdam’s Kevin Perez (32) looks on as the Rams’ Yandeel Vazquez (5) and Gloversville’s Anderson Jones (24) scramble for a loose ball during Foothills Council action Tuesday at Amsterdam High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

AMSTERDAM — After their buzzer-beating win over Glens Falls on Friday to take over the top spot in the Foothills Council standings, the Gloversville Dragons showed no signs of slowing down.

Facing rival Amsterdam, the Dragons dominated play on the boards to defeat the Rams 74-56 in Foothills Council action Tuesday night at Amsterdam High School.

With the victory, coupled with losses by Glens Falls and Queensbury, Gloversville now holds a two-game lead at the top of the league standings.

“We knew we had to keep up the pace,” senior captain Joey Rowback said. “Obviously, that [Glens Falls] was a big game for us but every game is just as big for us. Amsterdam is a good team and they really had our attention. We had great composure tonight. They are a very active team and like to press. We were able to keep our composure and pull it out.”

It did not take long for the Dragons to get rolling Tuesday at Dante Bouchard hit a 3-pointer and Georgio Glionna got a layup in the opening minute to jump out to a 5-0 lead.

Kevin Perez put the Rams first points of the game on the board before Bouchard added a three-point play to build the lead to 8-2.

Amsterdam put up seven unanswered points and with a 3-pointer from Yandeel Vazquez, took a 9-8 lead with 3:06 left in the opening quarter.

That was the only lead for the Rams in the game as Gloversville closed out the quarter with a 9-4 run for a 17-13 advantage.

Fouls began to mount for the Rams in the second quarter as the Dragons started to pull away.

With the help of Jaret Warner scoring his first points of the year after missing the first half of the season with a knee injury.,

With the help of Jaret Warner scoring his first points of the year after missing the first half of the season with a knee injury, Gloversville outscored the Rams 13-3 to take a 30-16 lead into the locker room at the break.

“When we lost him [Warner] in football season we knew how bad that was going to hurt,” Gloversville coach Aric Kucel said. “He had a great summer for us and got hurt a lot last year a lot, too. We are just happy he is back and healthy. He is a contributor. He plays tough and is crafty around the baskets, so it is certainly great to have him back.”

Amsterdam battled back in the third quarter with Yandeel Vazquez and Damian Colon combining for 18 of the Rams’ 20 third-quarter points.

After the Rams whittled the Dragons lead from 16 down to seven midway through the quarter, Kucel called a time out to settle his team down.

“They came out and started hitting some 3s,” he said. “They have some dangerous guys on the perimeter with Vazquez and Colon and now with [Tyrell] Douglas. We changed our defensive alignment a little bit to get out to their shooters and just a reminder to play at our speed.”

Warner put up six points to go with three from Bouchard and a 3-pointer from Kadyn Ruggeri to take the lead 50-36 heading into the final eight minutes of play.

“Anything is better than what we put up in the second quarter,” said Amsterdam coach Tim Jones of his team’s 20-point third quarter effort. “We were looking to get a little more energy and to be a little more efficient.”

Foul trouble continued to plague the Rams in the final period, as Perez drew his fourth at the end of the third quarter and James Shatas drew three quick fouls in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.

The Dragons took advantage of the opening on the inside with Rowback scoring off put backs to go with 15 fourth-quarter points from Bouchard to lock up the 74-56 victory.

“Even when we miss on threes it is great to have two big guys to crash the boards and get a lot of second chances,” Bouchard, who battled illness in the game, said. “All shooters know you just keep shooting and don’t let your last shot affect your game. You just keep shooting.”

Bouchard finished the night with 30 points, while Rowback added a double-double of 24 points and 13 rebounds and Warner added 13 points and three rebounds to go with eight assists, six rebounds and two points from Anderson Jones.

Gloversville held a 34-21 advantage in rebounds for the game.

“That is something I used to do as a kid. I didn’t shoot a lot of threes,” Rowback said. “I used to be in the paint all the time. We did a drill where the coach would throw the ball off the backboard and I had to grab the rebound. It has worked for me.”

Having a third double-digit scorer is a plus for the Dragons as they head into the final weeks of the regular season.

“That is what we think it is going to be for us every night whether it be Anderson [Jones] Kadyn [Ruggeri], James [Collar], Gio [Glionna] or Jaret,” Kucel said. “They are all capable of putting the ball in the basket and when it is their time to step up, they will step up.”

Vazquez paced Amsterdam with 21 points, while Colon finished with 12 and Caydren Graveley had nine to go with seven from Tyrell Douglas. Perez pulled down 11 rebounds and had four points for Amsterdam.

“Unfortunately, foul trouble has been a problem for us lately and it bit us tonight,” Jones said. “There will be other days, we will come in tomorrow and get back at it.”

Amsterdam (7-7 overall, 7-5 Foothills) will host Hudson Falls (7-5 Foothills) Friday, while Gloversville (12-1 overall, 11-1 Foothills) will travel to play South Glens Falls (4-8 Foothills) on Friday.

“We are starting to click and play our best basketball,” Bouchard said. “You want to be playing your best basketball at this time of the year. But we are just going to take one game at a time as we have done all year.”

Gloversville 74, Amsterdam 56

Gloversville 17 13 20 24 — 74

Amsterdam 13 3 20 20 — 56

Gloversville

Bouchard 10-7-30, Ruggeri 1-0-3, Warner 5-2-13, Rowback 8-8-24, Jones 1-0-2, Glionna 1-0-2. Totals: 26-17-74.

Amsterdam

Colon 4-1-12, Graveley 4-1-9, Ausfeld 1-1-3, Vazquez 7-4-21, Perez 2-0-4, Douglas 3-0-7. Totals: 21-7-56.

3-point goals: Gloversville 5 (Dante Bouchard 2, Kadyn Ruggeri, Jaret Warner); Amsterdam 7 (Damian Colon 3, Yandeel Vazquez 3, Tyrell Douglas).

By Paul Wager

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