Albany Academy basketball advances to federation final

Jackson, Mahoney guide Cadets past Park School
Albany Academy beat Park School in Saturday's semifinal.
Albany Academy beat Park School in Saturday's semifinal.

GLENS FALLS — For a year, Albany Academy waited for the chance it got Saturday.

Throughout that year, each time head coach Brian Fruscio needed something to rally his boys’ basketball team, he brought its attention back to last year’s loss at the buzzer to Park School in the Federation Tournament of Champions Class A championship game.

“Every time that we found a lull in practice or found a lull in a game, all you had to do was mention how they felt in this locker room last year at this time,” Fruscio said, “and it sort of snapped each guy into place.”

While Albany Academy had cruised past Park School earlier this season, what mattered all year to the Cadets was the game they won 71-56 against Park School in Saturday’s Federation Tournament of Champions Class A semifinals at Cool Insuring Arena.

“For our guys’ mindset,” Fruscio said, “that’s something we needed to do.”

“It was definitely a relief to [go] through these guys,” Albany Academy junior Andre Jackson said. “They’re a really good team with some really good players. I’m just really grateful that we got the opportunity to play them again this year because we went out bad last year.”

With the win against Park School (CHSAA, 25-3), Albany Academy (AIS, 18-3) advanced to Sunday’s 1:45 p.m. final against Frederick Douglas Academy (PSAL, 25-6).

Senior August Mahoney led Albany Academy with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Jackson added 18 points and 10 rebounds. Also for the Cadets, senior Saif Ullah added 16 points on 8 of 9 shooting.

“He played great,” Mahoney said of Ullah.

Park School senior Noah Hutchins, who scored last year’s championship-winning basket, had 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists to lead the Pioneers.

Albany Academy led 36-26 at halftime. Mahoney scored 19 points during the opening 16 minutes, while Jackson had 11. The Cadets led 52-39 after three quarters and were never seriously challenged in the fourth.

For the game, Albany Academy made 30 of 50 shots and recorded assists on 14 of its baskets. Park School shot 24 of 60.

“We’ve got some work to do,” Fruscio said, “but it feels great to be heading to the finals.”

While earning a postseason win against Park School was critical for the Cadets, Mahoney said his team isn’t satisfied.

“There’s no second thought in our locker room. Coming into the year, we all know the one goal we want to achieve and that’s to win a state championship,” Mahoney said. “There’s no other thoughts.”

The challenge of moving forward after Saturday’s pivotal win, Jackson said, is one the Cadets are eager to accept.

“Now,” Jackson said, “we’ve got to flip the switch.”


Ullah 8-0-16, Mahoney 8-4-23, Brown 4-0-8, M. Jackson 2-1-5, A. Jackson 8-1-18, Mulvey 0-1-1. Totals: 30-7-71.


Dunn 1-0-2, N. Hutchins 7-2-18, Abramaitys 1-0-2, Davis 0-1-1, Nnagbo 8-0-16, Carter 5-0-11, C. Hutchins 2-0-6. Totals: 24-3-56.

AA 17 19 16 19 — 71

PS 14 12 13 17 — 56

Reach Michael Kelly at [email protected] or @ByMichaelKelly on Twitter.

Categories: High School Sports, Sports

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