It was 30 years in the making.
On Friday at SUNY Ulster, the Marlboro High School girls basketball team beat Pine Plains 54-49 for its first Mid-Hudson Athletic League title since 1986.
“It’s amazing,” Marlboro coach Marion Casey said. “I cannot be more proud of them, and they did it as a team.”
Julia Rusk led the Iron Dukes with 15 points. Missy Sadler added 14 points, including the layup with less than half a minute left to give the Iron Dukes the lead for good. She also grabbed 27 rebounds — a feat that impressed Casey.
“Missy had an incredible game,” Casey said. “She did not let up at all, stopping the ball, getting her hands on the ball. She had the heart that we needed.”
Talaya Lewis contributed 15 points while Taylor Felicello had eight points and 10 assists.
Pine Plains was paced by Frances Snyder, who scored 12 points. Ashley Starzyk and her sister, Bella Starzyk each scored 10 points.
“Pine Plains was a great team,” Casey added. “I knew coming in it would be a tough, competitive game. I give them a lot of credit. (The game) was very competitive, came down to the last minute.”
Marlboro (17-2) now turns its attention to the Section 9 Class B tournament. The Iron Dukes drew the top seed and will host the winner of Saturday’s No. 9 Rondout Valley-No. 8 John A. Coleman Catholic game in a quarterfinal at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
“We’re excited,” Casey said of sectional play. “We’re going to practice and make sure we’re in a good place.”
Pine Plains, which is the number three seed in Class C by virtue of its loss to Marlboro, will visit second-seeded Millbrook on Monday in a semifinal matchup.
A.J. Martelli: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports