By MICHAEL KELLY
TOWN OF AMSTERDAM -- With a roster filled with underclassmen, the Amsterdam High School Lady Rams basketball team still managed to collect a home game in the Section II Class A playoffs when the bracket was released Wednesday.
"It's really exciting," said AHS junior Caitlin Gannon. "We're just hoping to make it to the second round [after] our home game."
The 9-9 Lady Rams were pegged as the No. 7 squad in the 12-team bracket, and head coach Eric Duemler's squad will play host to No. 10 Mohonasen, Wednesday, at 6 p.m.
"We've known for a couple weeks that we'd probably be the seven seed," said Duemler. "Once we lost to Johnstown the second time, we knew we weren't going to be able to move up from that spot."
Duemler said he had already secured some game tapes of Mohonasen, as he had expected the Lady Rams to draw the Suburban Council squad.
"It unfolded the way we expected it to," Duemler said.
Elsewhere in the Class A bracket, Averill Park was awarded the No. 1 spot; seed Nos. 2 to 6 are Troy, Queensbury, Holy Names, Glens Falls and Scotia-Glenville; the 8-9 game pits South Glens Falls against Lansingburgh; and, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake grabbed the No. 11 seed and Albany Leadership rounds out the field.
If the Lady Rams were to win their first-round game, Troy awaits them.
Duemler said his club had gotten a jump start on sectionals, using its game Tuesday against Bishop Maginn as a test run. The coach said the idea heading into that game was to play it like it was a must-win game, and his players bought into that.
"It gave us more of a push to make sure we did get that win," said sophomore Kaitlyn Devine, whose Lady Rams topped Bishop Maginn, 50-37.
Duemler said his goal for sectionals is just to take things slow with his young squad, which freshman forward Nina Fedullo leads.
"We want to continue improving every game. We have so many younger girls on our team that this experience will be great for them," Duemler said.
Both Devine and Gannon said they think the Lady Rams can make some noise in the postseason.
"I think we're really ready," said Devine. "We want to go far in sectionals; we don't want the season to end soon."
"Now that it's getting down to the stretch, it's very exciting," said Gannon. "But it's also scary at the same time; we're trying to do it for the seniors, but we're also doing it for the whole team."
Follow MICHAEL KELLY on Twitter at twitter.com/RecorderMK