Marlboro Dukes outlast Beacon Bulldogs

By Mike Zummo
Posted 2/14/24

He didn’t give the Marlboro Iron Dukes the lead, but Chris DeNatale’s basket at the third-quarter buzzer all the momentum they needed.

The Iron Dukes built a 10-point lead, lost it, …

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Marlboro Dukes outlast Beacon Bulldogs


He didn’t give the Marlboro Iron Dukes the lead, but Chris DeNatale’s basket at the third-quarter buzzer all the momentum they needed.

The Iron Dukes built a 10-point lead, lost it, and built the lead again as they outlasted the Beacon Bulldogs, 51-44 on Feb. 6 in a non-league boys’ basketball game at Marlboro High School.

“It’s amazing,” DeNatale said. “It’s the best feeling of the season. Everyone contributed and got the job done.”

The Iron Dukes trailed by seven points at halftime, and started mounting their comeback in the third quarter, and briefly held a one-point lead at two separate points.

However, the Bulldogs regained a four-point lead, and DeNatale knocked down a jumper as the buzzer sounded on the third quarter pulled the Iron Dukes to within two.

It was the fire they needed.

“That was huge momentum-wise,” Marlboro’s Matt Ciarimboli, who scored 12 points for the Iron Dukes. “it’s great, and that’s what he does. He hits shots like that all the time.”

He wasn’t the only one as Larry German, III, gave the Iron Dukes the lead with a 3-pointer, starting an 11-0 run that gave the Iron Dukes a 41-31 lead. Ny’eem Douglas, Ciarimboli and Miles Brooks each scored during the run.

“Everybody contributed,” Ciarimboli said.

“It wasn’t one or two guys. Everybody was hitting shots, and it made it a lot easier to get guys open.”

DeNatale scored a team-high 13 points and Ciarimboli added 12.

“It’s two guys that consistently score,” Marlboro coach Ryan Brooks said. “They’re going to take good shots and make good decisions. I think it’s a testament to our team getting the ball to the right guy, the open guy, and getting a good shot. We have the trust and confidence in everyone out there, and they came through.”

However, the lead disappeared very quickly as Brooks’ 3 basket with 5:44 left in the game was the last basket the Iron Dukes scored for nearly 4 minutes. That gave the Bulldogs time to go on a 10-run to tie the game at 41-41 with less than 4 minutes to go in the game.

Then, after a Marlboro timeout, Ny’eem Douglas converted a three-point play to give the Iron Dukes the lead for good. Beacon’s Michai Thompson pulled his team to within a point, but Ciarimboli knocked down a 3-pointer to widen the lead to four points.

Thompson led the Bulldogs with a game-high 15 points. Derek Fortes Junior added 12.

“We just had to get through it,” DeNatale said. “We’ve got to keep our composure, and even though they came back, we were still ready to jump.”

The Iron Dukes’ win accomplished two things. It snapped the Bulldogs’ six-game winning streak and ended Marlboro’s three-game skid. The Iron Dukes are still fighting for their postseason lives as they needed to win their last three Mid Hudson Athletic League Division II games to finish with a .500 divisional record.

That started with a 63-59 win over the Red Hook Raiders on Friday.

Miles Brooks knocked down 4 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 19 points, and DeNatale hit 3 and finished with 13 points. Thomas Benfer scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

Rileigh Jackson and Matt Simmons led the Raiders with 15 points each, and Landon Ramsey scored 14 points.

The win gave them a 7-8 record and they would need to go 3-1 in their last four games to finish 10-9 and clinch a sectional berth.

“It’s definitely a huge confidence boost for us to know we’ve got one win under our belts,” coach Brooks said. “We’ve just got to take one game at a time, and just try to keep it going, and cap the season off on a winning note.”