Montgomery upsets Marlboro in girls’ basketball state sectional semifinals

Montgomery High School girls' basketball players Erin Howard and Carolyn Prevost grab the rebound during the team's game against Marlboro High School in the semifinals of the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 4 Tournament on March 7. Montgomery defeated Marlboro, 61-56, to advance to the finals for the second time in three years.

No. 1 is no more.

The fourth-seeded Montgomery High School girls’ basketball team knocked off top-ranked Marlboro High School in the semifinals of the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 4 Tournament on March 7 in Marlboro.

The victory sent Montgomery to its second state sectional final in three years.

Led by a game-high 17 points from senior Carolyn Prevost and clutch free-throw shooting by senior Bria Johnson down the stretch, Montgomery was able hold off Marlboro’s late rally and defeat the Mustangs, 61-56, to improve to 18-10 on the season.

“We worked hard for this. “Prevost said. “We knew that we could take this game. That was our mentality going into it. It was a really fun experience. It’s unbelievable.”

Montgomery started the game off on a 14-3 burst and didn’t look back, avenging last year’s 80-45 loss to Marlboro in the state sectional semifinals.

Junior Andrew Katramados scored 11 points in the victory for the Cougars.

Johnson went three-of-four from the foul line in the final minute to help Montgomery seal the upset. Two of her free throws came with just three seconds left to play.

The senior finished with nine points in the contest.

Montgomery will be the host Hillsborough High School in the state sectional final on March 9.

Sophomore Dani Schlesinger, junior Jessica Riepe and senior Katherine Sanchez each scored 11 points for Marlboro.

Schlesinger picked up a huge steal and layup in the final seconds of the first half to cut the Montgomery lead to 32-23 going into halftime.

The sophomore dished a perfect pass to teammate Samantha Nocco in the right corner for the senior’s three-pointer that brought Marlboro within six points with 2:41 left to play.

Marlboro got within four after Riepe’s layup with under 10 seconds to play, but it wasn’t enough as Johnson nailed down her free-throw attempts to send Montgomery to the state sectional final and end the season for the Mustangs.

Marlboro finished the season with a record of 22-6.

Follow Steven Bassin on Twitter @SBassin_Sports