Marlboro’s girls’ basketball team reached the state Class B final four in 2016, but the Dukes could not repeat as sectional champs in 2017 and 2018 because Highland claimed those titles.
This season Marlboro beat Highland three times, twice in the regular season and once in the Section 9, Class B quarterfinals, 73-56, before advancing to the final after eliminating Burke in the semis 67-44.
And in the final Saturday against Spackenkill at Bard College, the Duke smaintained a close lead, up 45-33, at the half before pulling away in the second half to win 63-48.
“It feels amazing,” said Jetta Stephens, a senior, who played for the 2016 team that reached the state final four.
Stephens, with 11 points while going 5/6 from the foul line, was one of three Dukes in double figures. After Marlboro maintained a small lead at the half, Stephens said she and her teammates were determined in the second half to win the sectional title.
“We all thought about how much we wanted the plaque, how much we wanted to go regionals and a chance to go to states,” she said. “So I think that really fired everyone up.”
Elizabeth Lofaro led the Dukes with 21 points, and Erin Lofaro helped with 11 points as the Dukes advanced this week to the regional semis.
“They have come together nicely as a team,” said Marion Appler, Marlboro’s coach before facing Highland in the quarterfinals, “and that’s what we expected at the beginning of the season.”