QUEENSBURY — For three quarters of Friday night’s game, the Queensbury Spartans were a match for Amsterdam in a key Foothills Council girls basketball showdown.
They made defensive stops, they forced turnovers, they got quickly into transition and drained baskets in what was shaping up to be a track meet.
However, Amsterdam erupted for a 20-0 run through most of the fourth quarter to turn a close game into a 73-48 victory.
Giuliana Pritchard scored 19 of her game-high 31 points in the second half as the first-place Rams poured it on, finishing the game on a 21-3 run. Queensbury committed seven turnovers and missed eight shots in the fourth quarter.
“We just started making some mental mistakes,” Spartans head coach Megan Bethel said. “We started having some mental lapses on defense, and then offensively we never had a chance because we kept turning the ball over.”
“It was our defense, really,” Amsterdam coach Eric Duemler said. “We got stop after stop, we secured rebounds and that led to transition, and we took care of the ball in the fourth quarter. We didn’t make careless passes. Queensbury plays great man defense, so you have to cherish every possession, you can’t just give it away.”
Queensbury’s Hope Sullivan and Hailey Ballard each scored 15 points and Abby Doin added 12 on four 3-pointers, but the Spartans fell to 11-4 in the Foothills (12-5 overall) and slipped into a tie for third place with Gloversville. Amsterdam (13-2, 14-2) moved a half-game ahead of Scotia in first with three regular-season games left.
The Rams came in with a height advantage — four starters at 5-foot-9 or 5-10 — and used their length to offset Queensbury’s 6-foot Ballard inside.
“I thought down the stretch, the last eight or 10 minutes, we just got stops and attacked the rim,” said Duemler, whose team shot 8 for 12 from the floor in the final period. “We don’t settle for threes, we just get to the basket.”
“They’re a strong team, they have no fear of going to the basket,” Bethel said. “They get there, they make very good passes or they get offensive rebounds.”
The Spartans had spent the first three quarters going toe-to-toe with Amsterdam, however, keeping the game very close. The Rams took the lead for good early in the second quarter, but never led by more than five points in the first half. Every time they pulled away, Queensbury got a 3-pointer from Sullivan or Doin to move closer.
Amsterdam began pulling away in the third quarter, pushing the lead to 45-35 before the Spartans made one last push within three on a 3-pointer by Doin and back-to-back layups by Ballard. The Rams outscored Queensbury 28-6 over the final 11 minutes.
“The girls were just hustling — they were making some smart defensive plays, they were sprinting back on defense, Meghan O’Connor had some great stops during that time,” Bethel said. “Everybody was doing what they had to do, they were making smart decisions — and then they made that second run in the third quarter and we just kind of lost our steam a little bit. Mentally it just put us down.”
Amsterdam 73, Queensbury 48
Amsterdam (13-2, 14-2)
2P 3P FT TP
Jackie Stanavich 6 0 3 15
Lucia Liverio 3 0 1 7
Antonia May 3 1 0 9
Gianna DeRosa 2 0 0 4
Giuliana Pritchard 11 1 6 31
Charli Beekman 0 0 3 3
Elena Fedullo 1 0 2 4
Totals 26 2 15 73
Queensbury (11-4, 12-5)
2P 3P FT TP
Hope Sullivan 2 3 2 15
Meghan O’Connor 0 0 1 1
Hailey Ballard 6 0 3 15
Abby Doin 0 4 0 12
Kaileigh Hunt 1 0 0 2
Olivia Nassivera 1 0 1 3
Totals 10 7 7 48
Amsterdam 14 20 19 20 — 73
Queensbury 14 16 15 3 — 48