The Guilderland boys basketball team passed a major test Saturday.
The Dutchmen (4-0) built a 47-35 lead after three quarters and held on for a 70-65 non-league victory over Albany Academy, the defending state Federation Class A champions.
"No. 1, my kids were very excited to play that game They knew they (Albany Academy) were a good team and what they had coming in, and I think they raised their level of play," said Guilderland coach Ron Osinski. "The other thing is ... we played much more under control than we've done all season."
Albany Academy (2-1) nearly scored as many points in the fourth quarter (30) as it did over the first three periods, thanks in large part to Matt Knezovic. The senior swingman poured in 16 points to help the Cadets trim Guilderland's lead to one point late in the period.
"I honestly think in the fourth quarter ... it started setting in that we played Friday night (in a 71-57 Suburban Council victory over Colonie)," said Osinski. "We lost Knezovic a couple of times in that fourth quarter, and he hit a couple of big shots for them."
Guilderland survived Albany Academy's rally by making its final four foul shots.
"We missed a couple of free throws earlier on, but we made them at the end when it counted," said Osinski.
Senior forward Matt Cerutti came up big for Guilderland with a 25-point performance. Vincent Simeone contributed 16 points, while Marc DuMoulin and Andrew Platek each added 10 points.
The Dutchmen return to Suburban Council action Tuesday when they host winless Niskayuna (0-3). Osinski said he's already warning his players not to overlook the Silver Warriors.
"When I talked to the guys after the Albany Academy game, literally the first words out of my mouth were, 'Do not lose to Niskayuna. We just beat Academy,'" said Osinski. "We've done a pretty good job thus far of guarding against (letdowns) by coming out ready to play."