Marlboro battles Woodlands tough, before falling in Class B state tourney

PURCHASE – Marlboro gave favored Woodlands all it could handle in the opening-round of the Class B boys’ basketball state tournament on Wednesday, but finally went down 57-49 at SUNY Purchase.

Woodlands was lethal from 3-point range, making 12 baskets from behind the arc. Ross Joseph led the way for Woodlands (20-3), scoring 24 points with seven 3-pointers. Woodlands is the third-ranked Class B team in the state.

Alain Dumas led Marlboro (15-7) with 18 points and forward Damien Lowe added 14. Lowe played 31 minutes with Marlboro’s other inside presence, Tyler Banks, in foul trouble all game.

Here is what Lowe said after the game:

Marlboro stormed out to a 10-1 lead over Woodlands, which is the third-ranked Class B team in the state. The Iron Dukes led 17-11 after one quarter, but by the second, the showdown became and remained close. Woodlands (20-3) led 41-40 after three quarters and Joseph’s Steph Curry-like 3-pointer gave it a 44-40 lead 1:15 into the fourth quarter.

Dumas, a senior, hit back-to-back baskets to tie the game 44-44 with 5-11 remaining. Woodlands, which advances to the Class B state quarterfinals for the second year in a row, closed the game with a 13-5 run. Of course, the fateful spurt began with a 3-pointer – from Pierre Lys to make it 47-44.

Woodlands, suffocating Marlboro with its pressure defense, reeled off seven consecutive points after Lys. Two free throws by Dumas made the score 54-46 with 1:05 remaining, but it was too late. Woodlands, the Westchester County champion, was too good, too hot for fearless Marlboro on this afternoon inside the steamy gym.

Marlboro coach Mike Koehler was proud of the Iron Dukes’ effort, as he should be. It was another great run for the program. Marlboro won the Section 9 title as the fourth seed, defeating rival Highland for the title.

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