By MICHAEL KELLY
Recorder Sports Staff
TOWN OF AMSTERDAM -- For a team carrying a six-point lead into the fourth quarter Tuesday evening, the Amsterdam Lady Rams were not the happiest bunch.
Playing host to winless Schenectady in a Big 10 contest, the Lady Rams found a familiar problem plaguing themselves.
"The problem with our team -- and it's been there all season -- is that we're offensively inept," said Amsterdam head coach Eric Duemler. "We go stretches where we just can't score."
But the Lady Rams got going on a good stretch to start the fourth quarter, as Amsterdam used a run to blow the game open en route to a 41-21 victory.
"We all just stuck together. We didn't give up," said Amsterdam's Kelly Paris, who had six points, nine rebounds and four steals.
The Lady Rams (4-5, 2-4) put together a 15-0 run to start the final quarter, as Schenectady (0-9, 0-6) failed to score a point in the quarter until there were just 72 seconds left in the game. Amsterdam's Katie Ressel jump-started the run, as the senior scored the first four points -- she had six points for the game, to go along with five rebounds -- of the Lady Rams' big start to the quarter.
Soon after Ressel's points, the rest of the Lady Rams followed right along, as six different Amsterdam players scored in the final quarter.
"We saw the ball go through (the basket) and when a team sees the ball go in the basket, you build confidence and that can help you get on a streak," Duemler said.
For most of the game, though, the Lady Rams relied on a stout defense to keep the Lady Patriots at bay until the Amsterdam offense woke up.
"We work a lot on our defense, so our defense always helps us stay together as a team," said senior forward Latifa Woods-Walker, who scored a game-high 11 points. Woods-Walker also grabbed six rebounds and swatted three shots.
Schenectady's Jazze Lewis had six points and seven rebounds to lead the Lady Patriots. For Amsterdam, Cristiana Johnson compiled six points, while Sarah Fedullo added five.
The victory was a crucial one for the Lady Rams, as the team now gets to play host to Albany Leadership Charter on Friday with a chance to make good on its goals for the week.
"Our goal is to win both games this week at home," said Duemler. "We want to protect our home court and get to .500."
"That's our goal," agreed Woods-Walker. "It's very important to us."