By MICHAEL KELLY
TOWN OF AMSTERDAM -- Fresh off Friday's victory, the Amsterdam High School Running Rams are back at it today.
The Rams (2-3, 2-3 Big 10) head to Colonie to take on Christian Brothers Academy (4-1, 4-1). The last time the Rams and the Brothers met, Amsterdam almost pulled off the upset at CBA. Head coach Tony Orapello's group lost that contest, 54-47, this past January after leading for most of the second half.
Today's tip is scheduled for 3 p.m. at CBA. Here are three things to watch for in the Rams' contest against the Brothers:
GOING WITH THE FLOW
Orapello's club scored 67 points in its victory Friday against La Salle Institute, as AHS eclipsed its ever-present goal of hitting 65 points.
The key, Orapello said, was that the Rams were more adept at getting into their offensive sets and using their transition game to their advantage.
"We were running with a purpose," he said Friday.
Against CBA, the Rams will need quality possessions to combat the efficient nature of the Brothers, who are coming off a 76-32 win against Bishop Maginn.
Through five games, the Rams have struggled to know which version of themselves is going to show up on a given night.
Rare has been the time when an AHS role player has had consecutive good games. Friday night, junior forward James Valentin had a solid night for the Rams; now, the next step is for the first-year varsity player to duplicate his production (10 points, 11 rebounds) from Friday night.
"Hopefully I can keep playing like that," Valentin said.
Despite playing Friday night, the Rams should be in good shape, physically, for today's game.
Amsterdam used 10 players against LSI, with senior guard Andrew Rouse (30 minutes) the only Rams player to carry a much heavier burden than normal. Regular rotation players such as senior guard Alonzo Martin (12 minutes) and junior guard Anferny Aponte (11 minutes) should have the legs to provide a spark for the Rams against CBA.
That is important because AHS wants to turn today's game into a frenetic affair against the sizable Brothers. CBA senior forward Greig Stire -- all 6-foot-7-inches of him -- compiled 32 points and 18 rebounds when these two teams met a season ago, and the Rams would like to try to tire Stire out before he can do too much damage.
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