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MILLBROOK, NEW PALTZ BOYS WIN TO SET UP MHAL TITLE MATCH

Blazers Knock Off Onteora; Huguenots Slip Past Marlboro

By Sean McGee
Special to HVSR

STONE RIDGE – After Millbrook High School had a relatively easy time of beating Onteora, 64-49, in the first semifinal of the Mid-Hudson Athletic League boys basketball tournament, it was time for the nail-biter at SUNY Ulster.

Because there was still one more team that wanted to compete for the title just as badly as Millbrook.

New Paltz and Marlboro went down to the wire on Tuesday night, but it would be timely buckets by the Huguenots that secured a 58-56 victory over Marlboro.

Now New Paltz and the Blazers will head back to SUNY Ulster on Thursday night for a 5 p.m. MHAL championship game, followed by the girls’ championship tilt between Millbrook and Roosevelt.

New Paltz rallied from an early deficit thanks to Justin DeMaria, who hit five three-pointers en route to 22 points.

“Justin is that quiet assassin. He’s learned over the course of the year, if the shot doesn’t fall in the beginning he is not going to give up,” said New Paltz head coach Stuart Robinson. “He’s starting to develop that shooter’s mentality that you don’t just give up because the first one didn’t go your way.”

 

Patrick Murphy, who hadn’t played since January due to ankle sprains, stepped up off the bench adding 16 points for the Huguenots. He would sink a three-point shot with less than a minute left that all but iced the game, giving the Huguenots a 56-50 lead.

“To have him [Murphy] back on the floor alone was a big thing for us,” said Robinson. “I think the better thing was that he felt ready and he stepped up and he hit some clutch baskets.”

Marlboro was no easy task for New Paltz as the Dukes never seemed to go away, scoring key baskets to stay in the game. Sophomore guard Korbyn Samuels, who had 20 points, attacked the basket off the dribble throughout the game, trying to produce offense for Marlboro. CJ Faircloth contributed 12 points but cooled down after the first quarter.

Nevertheless, it was New Paltz who moved on, looking strong and feeling confident heading into its showdown with Millbrook on Thursday.

“I think we catch a dub [win],” DeMaria predicted. “We’re coming out with a lot of energy and it’ll be the first time we win (the MHAL Tournament) in 20 years, so I’m excited

Millbrook, which solidly handled Onteora, is also going to come out playing hard as it believes just as much as New Paltz it has a chance to win it all.

“I think we need to bring it again,” said Millbrook guard Liam Flaherty, when asked how they will win Thursday. “I think we need to focus on our defense even from the beginning and our offense we need to be swinging the ball around, getting it going earlier opposed to a slow start.”

Forward Joe Gjidoda dropped 27 points, propelling the Blazers to a victory. Flaherty and Isiaiah Edmunds scored 15 point against the Eagles’ swarming defense.

Jacob Stern did just about everything he could to keep Onteora in the game, but it just wasn’t enough. The senior scored 24 points in the last game of his high school career.

     

 

 

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