Section 9 Boys Hoops Championship Breakout Previews

Breaking down the championship matchups in Class AA, A and B where a case can be made for all finalists to hold the Section 9 plaque.

Class AA
No. 1 Newburgh Free Academy (19-2) vs. No. 3 Pine Bush (15-6)

When: 10 a.m. Saturday, Mount Saint Mary, Newburgh
State rankings: Newburgh No. 9; Pine Bush honorable mention
Newburgh Free Academy probable starting five: Jr. 6-6 G/F Amarri Tice; Jr. 6-3 G/F Nakai Wheeler; Soph. 6-0 G Jah’lakai King; Jr. 6-5 F George Patsalos; Jr. F Ernest Elliot.
Pine Bush probable starting five: Sr. 6-8 F Chris Cain; Sr. 5-8 G Kenny Holland; Sr. 6-2 G Nate Jaloszynski; Sr. F Elijah Johnson; Jr. 6-3 F Tim Linton;
Breakdown: Newburgh is bidding for its first section title since 2014. Pine Bush seeks its third section championship in the last four years. The team split in the regular season with both teams winning on the road – Newburgh 68-53 on Jan. 9 and Pine Bush 54-52 on Feb. 18. Newburgh has risen as high as No. 2 among Class AA schools in the state rankings. Pine Bush held Newburgh to three 3-pointers and limited the Goldbacks to three free throws in the win. Chris Cain and Tim Linton combined for 46 points in that game.

Class A
No. 2 Monticello (16-6) vs. No. 4 New Paltz (16-6)

When: 4 p.m. Saturday, Mount Saint Mary, Newburgh
State rankings: Monticello honorable mention; New Paltz not ranked
Monticello probable starting five: Sr. G 5-9 Josh Gattling; Sr. 6-2 G/F Trevon Gray; Sr. 6-3 F Damorn Hall-Rucker; Jr. 5-9 G Jordan Ruggiero; Sr. 5-11 G Alonzo Stergis.
New Paltz probable starting five: Sr. 6-2 G Jorden Cook; Jr. 6-3 G Justin DeMaria; Jr. 5-11 G Jeffrey Reynoso; Jr. 6-foot G Matt Simmons; Jr. 6-3 F Jackson Soper
Breakdown: Monticello and New Paltz will meet for the first time this season. New Paltz is looking to become the first school to win three straight Class A titles since the state expanded to five classifications in the 2003-04. Monticello’s last section championship was 2002 in Class B. New Paltz will likely be without senior 6-foot-7 center Patrick Murphy. Can New Paltz slow down Monticello, which is averaging 85.8 points over its last four games? Game will feature great backcourt matchup between 1,000-point scorer Josh Gattling and Jordan Ruggiero of Monticello against New Paltz’s Justin DeMaria and Matt Simmons.

Class B
No. 1 Marlboro (15-6) vs. No. 2 Chester (22-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday, Mount Saint Mary, Newburgh
State rankings: Marlboro honorable mention; Chester No. 4
Marlboro probable starting five: Soph. 6-foot G Collin Casey; Sr. F 6-foot CJ Faircloth (11.5 ppg, 5.6 rebounds per game); Jr. 5-10 G Alex Grzechowski; Soph. 6-1 G Korbyn Samuels (16.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg); Sr. 6-4 F Justin Schwarzbeck
Chester probable starting five: Jr. 6-6 F Tristan Brideweser (9.5 ppg); Sr 6-3 G/F Jacob Delgado (7.8 ppg); Sr. G Gianni Johnson (4.2 ppg); Sr. G Anthony Feliz (12.0 ppg); Sr. 6-4 G/F Kevin Stein (18.4 ppg)
Breakdown: Marlboro and Chester did not meet in the regular season. Chester’s last loss came in the 2019 Section 9 Class B quarterfinals to Marlboro 52-48. Marlboro seeks its third section title in the last five years. Chester is looking for its first Class B title and first section title since 2016 when it was a Class C school. Stein’s 1,227 points are second in school history. Sophomore guard Matt Drake has hit 33 3-pointers for Marlboro.

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