Joe Privatera gave the Niskayuna boys basketball team a lift when it needed one the most.
The senior guard hit a three-pointer late in the fourth quarter to help the Silver Warriors rally to defeat Bethlehem 58-51 in Friday's Suburban Council game in Niskayuna.
The win helped the Silver Warriors (1-1 league, 2-2 overall) put a 46-27 loss to Shenendehowa three nights earlier behind them, and in the process avenge a 60-47 loss to Bethlehem (1-1, 3-1) in the Niskayuna Invitational finals one week ago.
I'm just really proud of our guys, said Niskayuna coach Mike Black. "It does a lot for our confidence because we beat a great team."
"We played each other six days ago, so we were familiar with each other," said Bethlehem coach A.G. Irons. "Coach Black did a nice job of preparing his team."
The lead swung back and forth all night. Bethlehem grabbed a 9-4 advantage early in the first quarter before Niskayuna went on a 9-2 run to close the period with a 13-11 lead. The Silver Warriors extended their advantage to seven points in the second quarter, but Joe Kane drained a pair of three-pointers " the second of which came with less than one minute left " to put the Eagles ahead 26-25 going into halftime.
Bethlehem increased its lead to 36-31 in the third quarter before Josh Powers hit a three-pointer " his only basket of the game " to pull Niskayuna back within striking distance. Alex Olbrych then opened the fourth quarter with a driving layup and a foul shot to put the Silver Warriors in front 39-38.
Bethehem re-took the lead on free throws by Kevin Wendth and John Drazan, and a pair of long-range jump shots by Gleason Judd gave the Eagles a 45-42 advantage. But the Eagles couldn't capitalize on their next couple of possessions, which opened the door for Garrett Bush to tie the game with a three-pointer. Olbrych then drove the lane for a layup to put Niskayuna ahead 47-45.