Marlboro’s boys’ basketball team was defending its 2018 Section 9, Class B title against Ellenville Saturday at Bard College, and that title defense ended in the second quarter when the Blue Devils’ Jeremiah Figueroa landed a three to give his team the lead 19-16.
From there, the Dukes could only try to play catch-up, but the Blue Devils, after leading 26-19 at the half, would not let that happen. After building a 48-32 lead at the end of the third quarter, Ellenville, the top-seed, built a 27-point lead late in the fourth to pummel the Dukes 67-40 and win its first sectional title in 29 years.
“They are very good,” said Mike Koehler, Marlboro’s coach. “They are 21-1 for a reason. They play well together and obviously move across the floor great.”
Four Blue Devils scored in double figures, but only a pair of Dukes, Sam Mongelli and A.J. Musacchio could do the same. Mongelli led the Dukes with 15 points, scoring just 2 points in the fourth quarter as the Blue Devils pulled away with their speed and ability to flawlessly land their shots. Musacchio finished the game with 10 points.
Marlboro was also hampered by its lack of fundamentals as the Dukes tried to defend their 2018 sectional title.
“We didn’t rebound the ball well,” said Koehler. “We got stagnant on offense and kind of stood around and watched each other.”
Marlboro, a 2016 state Class B finalist, defeated Ellenville in the sectional championships in 2018. The Dukes entered the tournament this year as the two-seed and beat seven-seed Chester in the quarterfinals 52-48.
Six-seed Highland was next in the semis, and the Dukes beat the Huskies 52-47 before facing Ellenville in the sectional final Saturday.
The Dukes finished the season 15-7.