Monroe-Woodbury captures Section 9 Class AA girls basketball title - again

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  • The eyes have it: As her teammates look on, Toni Neely hits one of the five three-point shots she made on the evening.

  • Taylor Neely scores two of her 18 points in the second half.

  • Photos by William DimmitJamie Waldron controlled the defensive boards and shut down the Wildcats' offense.

  • The Monroe-Woodbury Crusaders celebrate their Section 9 Class AA Basketball Title following their 44-29 victory over the Warwick Valley Wildcats Wednesday night at SUNY New Paltz.

NEW PALTZ — On Wednesday night, March 6, the Monroe-Woodbury Varsity Girls Basketball Team took on Warwick Valley for the Section 9 Class AA title at SUNY New Paltz.

The Wildcats entered the game with the 16-4 record on the season and the number one seed in the tournament.

The Crusaders, who had lost to the Wildcats 37-33 earlier in the season, reached title game with a 15-5 record and the number two seed.

On Wednesday night, Toni Neely got the Crusaders off to great start when she hit a three-point shot to start the scoring as the Crusaders jumped out to 8-0 lead half way through the first quarter.

The Wildcats battled their way back but the Crusaders held a 12-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The scoring slowed in the second quarter as the two teams dug in on defense. The Crusaders took a 19-12 lead into the half.

Toni Neely started the second half the way she started the game and knocked down another three-point shot, her third of five three-pointers on the night.

The Crusaders then played their best quarter of the year. Jamie Waldron took over the defensive boards and Toni and Taylor Neely each scored eight points as the Crusaders' lead ballooned to 37-16.

In the final period, the Wildcats tried to stage a comeback but the Crusader defense stayed strong as the team went on to a 44-29 victory.

The Crusaders' Section 9 Class AA Title is their fourth in the last five years and the second for Head Coach Pat Harris.

The victory sends Monroe-Woodbury into the opening round of the state playoffs where the Crusaders will face Section 1 Champion, the Ossining High School Pride at noon on Saturday, March 9, at SUNY New Paltz.

- William Dimmit

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