TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Is it Thursday yet? The semifinals for the Sec. II, Class AA boys basketball tournament are set, and the top-half of the AA bracket will offer one of the most intriguing semifinal matchups this postseason.

Ballston Spa, owners of the top-seed in the section after an 18-1 regular season, and Green Tech, the reigning section champion, will battle Thursday at Cool Insuring Arena after the two squads recorded double-digit victories in Sunday afternoon’s quarterfinal round at Hudson Valley Community College.

The fifth-seeded Soaring Eagles kicked off the four-game slate from McDonough Sports Complex with a 57-47 win over the four-seed, Bethlehem.

Green Tech established a strong paint presence in the first quarter that allowed it to jump out to an early lead. After sophomore guard Haisi Mayben scored the first points of the game for the Soaring Eagles, sophomore forward Olivan Owens followed up by scoring the team’s next eight points, giving Tech a 10-6 advantage 5:31 into the game.

The margin would stay at four points at the conclusion of the first quarter, but then Tech started to widen the gap in the second frame. At the 5:39 mark, Mayben converted an old-fashioned, three-point play to put the Soaring Eagles up double digits at 26-15. They outscored Bethlehem 20-12 in the quarter, and headed to the locker room at halftime with a 34-22 lead.

That grew to as much as 15 points in the third quarter, but then the Tech offense started to hit a lull midway through the quarter that lasted until the early part of the final stanza. During that span, Bethlehem countered with a 9-0 run, capped by a 15-foot jumper from junior Cameron LaClair at the 7:30 mark of the fourth, trimming the Soaring Eagles lead to 43-37.

But not even 60 seconds expired before Tech responded with a three-point play from Owens, putting an end to its’ scoring drought, and pushing the lead back out to nine points.

Minutes later, Tech senior Jasai King scored an uncontested, fast-break lay-up, reclaiming Green Tech a double-digit margin. The Soaring Eagles held on from there for the 57-47 win.

Owens led all scorers with 14 points. Joining him in double figures was sophomore forward U’Mier Graham with 11, and Mayben, who netted 10. LaClair’s 10 points led the scoring attack for Bethlehem.

Tech had to wait until the nightcap to find out its’ opponent in the semifinals. Ballston Spa, which hadn’t played a game in over two weeks, showed some rust out of the gate against eighth-seeded Colonie – a team riding the momentum of an emotional, opening-round victory against Albany. The Scotties had to overcome a double-digit, first-quarter deficit, but ultimately prevailed, winning 65-50 behind a 36-point effort from senior guard Nicholas Verdile.

That hole was the result of a balanced Colonie attack that saw three different players score multiple field goals in the first seven minutes of action, giving the Raiders a 16-6 lead.

But Verdile sparked a return to form for the Scotties’ offense in the second quarter. He poured in two critical three-pointers in the quarter – one to tie the game at 19, and one just ahead of the halftime buzzer to give Ballston Spa a 29-26 edge at the break. 20 of those points came courtesy of Verdile.

He continued to score at ease in the second half, netting another 12 points in third quarter, as the Scotties outscored Colonie 21-10 to claim a 14-point lead by the quarter’s end. Spa rolled from there to the 65-50 victory.

What only two people in the gym knew at the time of Verdile’s third-quarter run was that he was also closing in on history. He reached 1,000 career points on his 25th point of the evening.

After the game, Verdile admitted he wasn’t even one of the two people who knew he was coming up on the milestone.

“I didn’t know,” said Verdile. “My coach and my dad – they were the only people that knew, and they hid it from me. I didn’t know I was 25 away; I thought I was, like, 35, or 40, so it was definitely a great accomplishment, ’cause I didn’t expect to get it this game.

Verdile also recalled what was working so well for him offensively.

“I was definitely feelin’ myself with my jump shot tonight,” said Verdile. “And I was confident that every shot I took went in. I just wanted to stay aggressive, and keep on scoring for my team when they needed it. This could’ve been my last game, and I could’ve had five points. So, getting the 1,000 points, and continuing to play – that’s a great feeling for me.”

On top of the 36 points, Verdile shot the ball with tremendous efficiency. He was 14-18 from the floor, and connected on five of his eight three-point tries.

Thursday’s semifinal showdown between the Scotties and the Soaring Eagles will tip off at 6:30 p.m. from Cool Insuring Arena.

Bethlehem concludes its’ season with a 16-6 overall record. Colonie finishes with a 13-9 mark.