Queensbury’s Nico Mattia, left, and Amsterdam’s Jio Orengo fight over a faceoff during a boys lacrosse game Thursday, April 20 at Lynch Literacy Academy. (Adam Shinder/Recorder staff)

By ADAM SHINDER

@RecorderShinder

The Amsterdam High School boys lacrosse team held on for more than 20 minutes to start Thursday’s game against the Queensbury Spartans at Lynch Literacy Academy, going toe-to-toe with the Foothills Council leaders.

But, in the closing minutes on the first half, the Spartans turned up the intensity, poured in three goals in 44 seconds to get some separation and never looked back, pulling away in the second half as the Rams sagged in an 18-1 loss.

“Even when things go wrong, you’ve got to snap out of it and stop that snowball,” Amsterdam coach Paul Furman said. “When you continue to let that snowball go downhill, it gets bigger and bigger and you end up with how we finished today. I really think this team is better than what that final score was. We just have to put a full four quarters today.”

James Conway scored seven goals, Colin Cunningham had a nine-point game with three goals and six assists, Dawson LaLuna tacked on four goals and an assist, and Nico Mattia dominated the face-off game with wins on 21 of 22 draws for Queensbury (6-2, 3-0 Foothills).

Cameron Chrzanowski scored the lone goal for Amsterdam (1-3, 0-2) on an assist from Mark Hughes with 4:28 left in the first quarter. Jesse Kellogg made 20 saves for the Rams despite facing heavy pressure throughout the game.

Despite the lopsided final score, the Rams kept Queensbury at bay for most of the first half, trailing 2-1 after the opening quarter and still being within 4-1 when the Spartans called timeout with 90 seconds left in the first half.

Coming off that timeout, Alexander Chirgwin made it a 5-1 game with a shot that Kellogg got a piece of, but the ball barely trickled over the goal line. Mattia won the ensuing face-off and set up LaLuna for his third goal of the half just 16 seconds later, and the Spartans completed the surge when Cunningham found a cutting Conway with 11 seconds left in the half.

From there, the floodgates were open. Coming out of halftime, the Spartans pumped in seven goals in the first 4:51 of the third quarter to turn the game into a rout.

“You to have continue to compete, no matter what’s going on,” Furman said. “There’s a little bit of both. There’s parts we’re extremely proud of, but there’s stuff we’ve got to clean up.”

Though things fell apart as the game wore on, in the opening 20 minutes Furman got exactly what he was hoping to see from his young team.

“When we came out, we told them right before the game what we wanted out of them, what we expected out of them,” Furman said. “We expected them to compete, no matter who you’re playing against. Doesn’t matter if it’s the first-ranked team in the conference or the last-ranked team in the conference, you have to step out and compete — no matter who it is. They did that for pretty much the whole entire first half.”

Even with the tough final result, Furman singled out Kellogg and senior close defender Elijah Newborn for their tireless effort.

“Jesse and Newborn, they’re the heart and soul of this team, and that’s why they’re our captains,” Furman said. “They lead by example. Hopefully, as the season goes on, more guys will start to follow that example.”

The Rams will be back in action Saturday at 7 p.m. when they visit South Glens Falls.

Contact ADAM SHINDER at [email protected]