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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Class AA First Round: No. 10 Mohonasen Surprises No. 7 Amsterdam with 43-33 Win in Boys’ Basketball Section 2


AMSTERDAM — The Amsterdam boys’ basketball team found themselves in a challenging position during halftime of their Section 2 Class AA tournament game on Wednesday. With only 11 points on the board, they had a mountain to climb in the second half.

Trailing by 17 points, the Rams were tasked with not only closing the gap but also finding their scoring rhythm.

Despite a spirited offensive effort in the third quarter, the No. 7 ranked Amsterdam team couldn’t overcome their slow start. They fell to No. 10 Mohonasen 43-33 in a low-scoring first-round matchup.

“We struggled in a few areas,” admitted Amsterdam coach Tim Jones, “but Mohon deserves credit. They rebounded the ball exceptionally well.”

Mohonasen managed to score 14 points in each of the first two quarters, while limiting Amsterdam to six points in the first and five in the second.

“We came out with a lot of energy,” said Mohonasen junior Jordan Knight. “We learned from our previous encounter with them and made sure we were ready to grab the ball.”

Knight, who was referring to a 56-48 loss to Amsterdam on Feb. 8, was determined not to end his season on Wednesday.

“We emphasized the importance of playing hard throughout the game, regardless of the score,” Knight said. “As coach always says, it doesn’t matter if we win by 20 or one, as long as we win, we get to keep playing.”

Amsterdam did manage to give Mohonasen a scare in the third quarter, outscoring the Warriors 20-8 and reducing the deficit to just five points.

“They definitely regrouped during halftime, while we were celebrating,” Knight said of Amsterdam. “They came out stronger than ever, and the energy was completely different.

CJ Miller, who scored 12 points for Amsterdam, had eight of those in the third quarter.

Despite being in a better position heading into the fourth, Amsterdam could only muster two points in the final period. Mohonasen did just enough to secure the win and advance.

“In the third quarter, we did a great job of trying to get back into it, I just wish we had maintained that effort throughout the game,” said Jones, reflecting on his team’s season. “We’ll look towards the future and the growth we’ve experienced this year, and continue to work together.”

Knight, who had a game-high 14 points for Mohonasen, was hoping for at least two more. However, he laughed off an attempted dunk that hit the back of the rim.

“I was really hoping,” Knight said of his dunk attempt. “I was disappointed that it hit off the rim. It felt really good, too. I knew I got really high up there.”

Drew Batcher contributed eight points for Mohonasen (10-11 overall), while Rocco Natale scored eight points for Amsterdam (12-9 overall).

While Amsterdam’s season came to an end, Mohonasen advanced to the Class AA quarterfinals. They will face Mekeel Christian Academy on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Siena College.

Mohonasen 14 14 8 7 – 43

Amsterdam 6 5 20 2 – 33

Mohonasen scoring: J. Paolino 1-2-5; L. Paolino 1-0-3; Bullinger 2-2-7; Shaffeeulah 2-1-5; Knight 6-2-14; Lott 0-1-1; Batcher 3-2-8. Amsterdam scoring: Natale 3-2-8; Flower 1-0-3; Tirado 0-2-2; Daley 0-2-2; Flint 3-0-6; Miller 6-0-12. Team totals: Mohonasen 15-10-43; Amsterdam 13-6-13.

Beckett Nielson
Beckett Nielson
Transitioning from a collegiate athlete to a sports journalist, Beckett O’Neal channels his passion for sports into engaging stories. A Boston College graduate, Beckett specializes in local sports coverage, from high school heroes to regional professional teams, providing in-depth analysis and an athlete's insight.
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