March 16 was already marked down on the Schenectady Christian School calendar as a day off for students while teachers went in for a professional advancement day.
Now, professional advancement day has been postponed so the teachers can join the students in Glens Falls to watch the boys basketball team play in its first-ever state tournament.
The Falcons (24-1) defeated Section X champion Brushton-Moira and Section VII champ Seton Catholic of Plattsburgh last weekend to win the regional class C title and advance to Friday's state semifinal against Section IV champion Sidney at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Needless to say, basketball fever has struck the small Scotia-based school, which has never had a team play in a state tournament.
There's certainly a lot of excitement in the school, said Schenectady Christian coach Chad Bowman. "The challenge for the boys is to stay focused on what they have to do."
Sidney will be a handful for the Falcons to deal with. Bowman said the Warriors " ranked second in the state " feature a veteran lineup and pride themselves on being a strong defensive team.
"They start five seniors, and any time you play a team with five seniors, they pretty much know what they want to do at both ends of the court," said Bowman.
This is not to say the fifth-ranked Falcons don't stand a chance. Like Sidney, Schenectady Christian has a starting lineup of players who can score from anywhere on the court, and the Falcons have been through enough tight playoff games to know how to handle pressure.
"One of the strengths of this team is that we've been able to perform well as a team," said Bowman. "We won't overwhelm anybody with our talent, so we have to play well as a team. That's not to say we don't have talent. We just don't have that one overwhelming player."