There might be a lot of things that the La Salle basketball team doesn't want to remember about its first game of the season.

Missed free throws, giving up a halftime lead, not having that added vigor in the four minutes of extra time.

But that overtime loss to State College a little more than a week ago did more than provide the Explorers with regrets - it also was a learning experience.

That experience came in handy Saturday, at Cheltenham's Coaches vs. Cancer tournament, as the Explorers defeated Boys' Latin in overtime, 70-64.

"That overtime experience definitely helped us," Explorers senior Alex Cuoci said. "In this one, we came out with a lot more energy than in the first one. We played a lot better defense, and we hit our foul shots."

La Salle looked to be in control, leading by 10 points with five minutes remaining in the third quarter, but the Warriors came back behind the physical play of Ismael Kagone and the quick ballhandling skills of fellow senior Yahmir Greenlee.

Boys' Latin (3-2) and La Salle (2-2) traded baskets in the fourth quarter, and Explorers senior Amar Stukes tied the game with less than a minute to play. In the overtime period, it was all La Salle, as the Explorers went 6 for 8 from the foul line.

"It's very important because we started out 1-2 and our two losses were tough losses, so winning in overtime showed growth over the past few weeks," La Salle senior Steve Smith said. "We got a lot of confidence from the win."

Cuoci led La Salle with 21 points and also had six blocks and six rebounds, as all five senior starters for the Explorers scored in double figures. Smith recorded a double-double, netting 13 points and 10 rebounds.

The Explorers next will face New Media Charter, on Wednesday, and Boys' Latin will host Constitution on Tuesday. Cuoci isn't looking past Wednesday, but he is excited to see what the Explorers are made of, especially after a momentum-building win.

"Reading will definitely be a challenge for us," Cuoci said, pointing to next Saturday's opponent. "It would be a big win."

And if the game goes into overtime, Cuoci and the rest of the Explorers will be more than ready.

Boys' Latin   14 9 20 13 8 – 64

La Salle   15 13 14 14 14 – 70

BL: Yahmir Greenlee 23, Ismael Kagone 12, Eddie Powell 10, Pasquale DiMascio 9, Jamar Brisbon 5, Charles Pressley 5.

L: Alex Cuoci 21, Pat Cooney 14, Steve Smith 13, Amar Stukes 12, Ryan Winslow 10.

Contact Kate Harman at rallysports@phillynews.com.