GLENS FALLS – Nick Mongelli spread his arms wide after making the first shot of the game on Friday night.
Backpedaling back down the court after the ball swooshed through the net, the senior guard on the Marlboro High School boys basketball team connected his index finger and thumb, indicating he had just made a 3-point field goal.
It was one of 12 3-pointers the Section 9 champion Iron Dukes knocked down en route to their 74-60 New York State Class B semifinal win at the Glens Falls Civic Center over Section 3’s Bishop Grimes of East Syracuse. Marlboro was scheduled to face Olean in the state championship Saturday night in a game that ended after the Journal’s print deadline.
“Everybody was hitting from 3-point range,” Mongelli said following the state semifinal victory. “I was getting my teammates open for 3-pointers and getting to the basket, so it worked out well for all of us.”
Xavier Oliver made four 3-pointers in six tries against Bishop Grimes. To him, once one Iron Duke got hot, all of them started to click.
“We felt pretty good in warmups and once we saw the first couple go down, it was contagious,” said Oliver, the senior forward. “Everybody started making threes and it was awesome.”
Draining 3-pointers has been one of several reasons the Iron Dukes, at 23-3, have been successful this year.
On Dec. 4, the Iron Dukes buried nine 3-pointers in a 56-52 win over Briarcliff. Oliver knocked down a key shot from outside the arc with 20 seconds left after Briarcliff had cut Marlboro’s lead to three points. Marlboro went on to beat Briarcliff again in the Class B regional semifinals.
Similarly, senior guard Tyler Jollie hit a 3-pointer to send the Iron Dukes into double overtime in their Section 9 Class B final game against Spackenkill on Feb. 28. Marlboro went on to win, 82-76, in triple overtime.
“They’re tougher than they look,” Marlboro coach Mike Koehler said of his team. “They fight. We’re not going to walk in the gym and scare anybody, you know? But we’re tough, we play tough and want to get it done.”
A.J. Martelli: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports
The Class B state championship game between Marlboro and Olean ended after the Journal’s print deadline. Go to PoughkeepsieJournal.com for the game story, video and a photo gallery.