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MARLBORO GIRLS GO BACK TO BACK

Dukes Top Onteora For Section 9, Class B Title

By Sean McGee
and
Rich Thomaselli
HVSR Staff

NEWBURGH – Give Onteora High School girls basketball a ton of credit.

The Eagles had a game plan to get physical with Marlboro, especially standout post player Erin Lofaro and her sister Lizzy, in the Section 9, Class B championship game.

And for the most part, Onteora was able to do that.

The missing ingredient, however, is that for the strategy to truly work against the talented Lofaros you’ve got to somehow get one of them off the floor. Foul trouble. Stomach bug. Directions to SUNY New Paltz instead of Mount St. Mary.

None of those extracurricular events happened Friday, the sisters dominated on the floor, and No. 3 Marlboro beat top-seeded Onteora, 69-51,

It was the second straight title for the Dukes and their third in the last five years. Marlboro advances to a first-round state regional game on Wednesday against the winner of Saturday’s Section 1 championship between Putnam Valley and Irvington.

“I couldn’t sleep last night,” Erin Lofaro said. “This is where you want to be. We came together as a team and a program. This was a dream of ours.”

 

Erin Lofaro paced all scorers in the game with 20 points. Teammate Hannah Palumbo had 17 and Liz Lofaro chipped in with 13 points and some good advice.

“She [Hannah Polumba] came up to me before the game and said I am a little nervous,” Liz Lofaro said of the eighth-grader. “I said ‘You got to shake it off, you got this, don’t let it get to you.’”

Everything went right for the Dukes. Both Lofaros stayed on the floor and answered every push and shove from the Eagles to win the physical battle. Mentally, Marlboro broke Onteora’s back with not one but two quarter-ending buzzer-beating shots that gave the Dukes a 16-9 lead after the first and a 30-20 advantage at halftime.

And in the third quarter, Marlboro blew it open.

“We wanted to stay aggressive at all times and attack the basket, so that was our plan,” Onteora coach Andy Occhi said. “We tried to front the post and get help from the backside [when guarding Erin Lofaro]. As far as Elizabeth Lofaro we wanted to pick her up the length of the floor and make her work as much as we can and tire her out. It didn’t work out that way, but that was the plan.”

“Lizzy is dominant offensively, she really is,” Marlboro coach Marian Casey said. “She is a great ball player and we are lucky to have her.”

Lucicana Robertson led Onteora with 13 points and Monroe Maki added 12.

     

 

 

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