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DECHENT DELIVERS DECISIVE PERFORMANCE

Eva Goes For 39 To Lift Putnam Valley Past Marlboro

PUTNAM VALLEY – The shame, of course, is that nobody was there to see Eva DeChent have the game of a lifetime.

DeChent was magnificent on Wednesday, scoring a career-high 39 points in front of an empty gym, leading the Putnam Valley High School girls basketball team to a 66-49 victory over Marlboro in a New York State Class B regional semifinal.

The game was played before, well, no one. In a joint decision by Section 1 and Section 9 to limit the size of the crowd out of an abundance of caution for the coronavirus, no spectators were allowed. Not even parents.

“It was challenging at first but I knew we had to bring our own energy to get the win,” DeChent said. “We brought the energy from the start. We had a game plan that we executed and it worked.”

The Tigers head to the regional final (state quarterfinal) on either Saturday or Sunday against Long Island champion Carle Place. The game will be played somewhere on the Island at a time still to be determined.

Putnam Valley hosted the matchup, which was originally scheduled for neutral Horace Greeley High School and then Mount St. Mary College before both sites bowed out citing the virus. Marlboro parents and players put up a fuss when it was announced that the Tigers would have a home game, but the way DeChent played it could have been held outside on the blacktop with chain nets.

“I think the empty gym was unacceptable. Obviously I don’t want to make an excuse for our game today, we didn’t play our best. All the credit to Putnam Valley, they deserve this. I truly hope they go win the whole thing,” said Marlboro’s Erin Lofaro. “But to not be able to have spectators, it was truly one of the worst decisions that could have been made. Today’s games, for all the student-athletes that played, was truly sad. To not be able to even have our parents there in my last game, in all of our last games, it makes the loss 10 times worse. I hope that they reconsider the decision they made, and the impact it has on the lives of us, in the rest of the games in the state tournament! This was the first game my parents have missed in my entire career.”

 

The same could be said for DeChent and her performance with her parents sitting at home watching a live stream of the game. DeChent practically put the game away herself in the second quarter. Marlboro, which never led in the game, tied it briefly at 17-17 – the Dukes’ only tie – when DeChent took over, scoring 15 of her 21 first-half points in that quarter to help PV take a 35-24 lead at the break.

“We didn’t come this far to lose,” DeChent said. “When they told me after the game I had 39 points I didn’t believe it. I’m just very happy to continue playing with my team.”

PV’s Arianna Stockinger had 15 points, the exact amount she needed to reach 1,000 for her career.

Lofaro had 18 points in her last game before heading off to Division I UMass-Amherst.

“Years from now I might forget the accolades and the plays but what I won’t forget is my parents, sister, teammates, my coaches, all of the people that supported me along my journey,” she said. “I will remember the feelings after the championships and the best five years of my life! I remember in 8th grade stepping out on the floor for the first time and thinking that I never want this to end. I just can’t believe Ii put my jersey on for the last time tonight. I hope I made Marlboro proud. Unfortunately what I don’t want to remember is the silence in the gym tonight.”

     

 

 

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