ALBANY -- The Amsterdam High School girls basketball team faced a serious gut check opening their season Wednesday night against Albany Leadership Charter -- and the Lady Rams had just enough in them to squeak by.
Ashlee McDonald sank the deciding free throw with 1.9 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, boosting the Lady Rams to a hard-fought 33-32 victory. That the win was provided at the free throw line was fitting, as Amsterdam had struggled at the charity stripe the entire night to that point, finishing 16-of-38 from the line.
"It was a crazy atmosphere," said Amsterdam head coach Eric Duemler. "We took an early lead, but Albany hung around and we had to gut it out down the stretch, make a couple of defensive stops and make a foul shot or two. It was a good experience for the kids."
In addition to her winning foul shot, McDonald scored a team-high 14 points for Amsterdam, helping the Lady Rams overcome the cramped and rowdy atmosphere at Albany Leadership.
"It was like an elementary-sized gym," Duemler said. "People right on top of you. It was very, very loud and vocal -- to say the least."
Amsterdam returns to action next Tuesday at home against Catholic Central.
Bishop Maginn 0
Jake Cetnar rolled a 247-671 and Ben Patrick contributed with a 207-626 to lead Amsterdam to an easy win over Bishop Maginn at Del Lanes.
Amsterdam (24-4) outshot Bishop Maginn, 3,550-2,205.
Zack Arsenault helped the winners with a 215-619.