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ARLINGTON GIRLS WIN A TUNE-UP

Admirals Dominate Marlboro In Clash Of Postseason Favorites

By Sean McGee
Special to HVSR

FREEDOM PLAINS – Two high school girls basketball teams competed in a game on Tuesday that, for all intents and purposes, simply did not matter when it came to final records..

But that doesn’t mean the game didn’t hold significance to the players and the coaches.

Arlington would be the team that would come out on top, beating Marlboro 70-36 in a non-league game that served as a tune-up for both squads – one, the victorious Admirals, already installed as the No. 2 seed in the Section 1, Class AA playoffs, and the other, the Dukes, who are the prohibitive favorite in Section 9, Class B.

Yet the game was not nearly as valuable as the experience the teams gained.

“I think it was good just to fill that 10-day gap that we had between the last game we played and first round of sectionals (on Saturday),” said Arlington head coach Kim Costello. “It was one of those games we were getting everyone in, and we were going to work on some stuff, so it was definitely beneficial.”

“What we wanted out of this game was to get extra experience and extra work before we go into our postseason,” said Marlboro head coach Marion Casey. “I knew Arlington is a good team, so it was for the experience and to make us better.”

The two teams are favored to make deep runs once sectionals begin and the game allowed each team to correct mistakes and prepare for the one-and-done playoff.

“We have some stuff that we need to work on, so it’s good to see after any game our weaknesses and what we can do better as individuals and as a team,” said Casey. “After looking at tonight, there are a couple things we are going to focus on – our defense and rebounding.”

 

 

 

The Dukes were led by Hannah Polumba with 14 points and Erin Lofaro with 12 points. Lofaro believes her team is ready for the chance to raise the Section 9 trophy.

“I think just being together and having energy and intensity every time you step out on the floor, giving everything you have. That’s what we are trying to show people,” she said. “We can win with that mentality.”

Arlington would go to its bench early, giving the regular starters a rest. They would still go into halftime up 29-15 as every Arlington player stepped on the floor.

“We are a very deep team, which is nice because it is good at practice because you have your starters going against very good players,” said Costello. “It pushes them, and it makes both sides better.”

Molly Stephens, who scored her 1,000th point last game, led the way for the Admirals scoring 14 points. She knows that her shooting ability will draw a lot of attention come sectionals.

“A lot of time its just about patience and letting the game come to me,” said Stephens. “I’m confident in my four other teammates on the court that when I’m being face-guarded or I can’t get the ball, I know my teammates can do other things.” Mia Costello provided 13 points for Arlington, while Devon Schmitt added 10 points.

The Admirals press defense would provide problems for the Dukes at the start of the second half as the 14-point deficit would turn into 20 in less than four minutes. The usual starters barely played in the fourth quarter as the Admirals were up 54-25 at the end of the third, yet the girls off the bench were more than capable of holding the lead and even making it larger.

Arlington will prepare to play No. 15 Clarkstown North Saturday and are in a survive and advance mindset.

“At this point it’s a new season; it’s win or go home and I think we have enough leadership on this team to keep them focused and get them going,” said Costello. “We have another goal we have to reach, so hopefully we can get there.”

 

 

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