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One Bethlehem basketball team advances; the other falls in first round

One Bethlehem basketball team was successful in Wednesday's opening round of the Section II, Class AA tournament, but the other was not.

The Bethlehem girls team dispatched Queensbury 54-33 in the first game of a home doubleheader, but the Bethlehem boys lost to Amsterdam 65-54.

Bethlehem stormed back from a 51-32 fourth quarter deficit against Amsterdam behind eight points from Connor Muncil and six points from Kevin Wendth. The comeback was made easier after Amsterdam's Vinnie Nicosia fouled out with more than five minutes left in the period.

The Eagles trimmed the deficit to 58-54 with 1:30 left before T.J. Sumigray nailed a three-pointer to kickstart a 7-0 Rugged Rams' spurt.

We left everything on the court, said Bethlehem boys coach A.G. Irons. "We gave it everything we had. We never gave up. Any other team would have packed it in down by 19 (points) in the fourth quarter."

Amsterdam's Ben Miseikis led all scorers with 29 points including five three-pointers. Nicosia contributed 14 points, and Sumigray added 11 points. Wendth and Muncil each had 12 points for Bethlehem, while John Drazan " who was limited to three points in the first half " bounced back to chip in 10 points.

In the girls' game, Bethlehem used its height advantage over Queensbury to build an 18-2 lead in the first quarter and cruise to the 21-point win. Six-foot, one-inch center Alex McCullough scored 21 points to lead the Lady Eagles over the Spartans, who did not have a player over 5-9.

"We knew going in we had a size advantage over them," said Bethlehem girls coach Mark Nealon. "In Sectional basketball, you take the advantages given to you, and you exploit them."

The Bethlehem girls advance to Saturday's class AA quarterfinals at Amsterdam High School, where it will face Saratoga. The Blue Streaks defeated Schenectady in their opening round game Wednesday.""

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