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Ferrara, Colonials defeat Chatham

CHATHAM _ Nicole Ferrara had been coming off the bench for Morristown while waiting for a sprained ankle to heal. Given her first career start, Ferrara, a junior guard, sought to make an impact against Chatham, a formidable foe in the United Division of the NJAC. Ferrara, best known for her exploits on the lacrosse field, scored seven points to key a 14-point run that bridged the third and fourth quarters and had a significant impact on the Colonials' 36-26 victory over the Cougars on Wednesday, Jan. 3. "I am so happy to be back," Ferrara said. "It was great…

Meyers, Mendham stay on track

BASKING RIDGE _ Mendham's first game, marred by turnovers, lack of hustle and ineffective boxing out, was beyond ugly. Montville put up 60 points against the Minutemen and held them to single digits in the middle two quarters. The outcome was upsetting to Mendham coach Mark Gnapp and, of course, his players. Since then, the Minutemen have toiled to right themselves, posting wins in three of their last four games, including a 50-39 defeat of Pingry in first-round action at the Len Sepanak Memorial Holiday Basketball Tournament at Ridge High School on Wednesday, Dec. 27. "We played very well in…

Vikings escape with opening-night win

ROCKAWAY _ Sixteen seconds before the final buzzer, Parsippany Hills' Corinne Diaz was scolded by coach Donnie Forster for attempting a 3-pointer. At the time, the Vikings were up by one point and all Diaz could think of was widening the lead. Forster yelled out, "What are you doing?" At the conclusion of the game, a 29-28 Parsippany Hills victory over Morris Hills on Friday, Dec. 15, Diaz, of course, had mixed emotions, bearing a smile on her face and proud that the Vikings had won their season opener and yet a bit upset and teary-eyed about the decision she…

Soar-NJ.com 2017 Basketball All-Stars

2016-17 Soar-NJ.com Morris County All-Star Basketball Team Joey Meyers Mendham Meyers, a sophomore, made the transition from forward to guard look easy but there was plenty of hard work that led to her successful 2016-17 campaign. An afterthought as a freshman forward when she averaged under four points per game, Meyers had a breakout season with 19 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals a game from the guard position. Included in her highlights were hitting game-winning shots against Pope John and Ridge and scoring a career-high 26 points in a 53-43 decision over Roxbury on Feb. 23. She finished the year with…

Pisciotto, Colonials enjoyed fine season

MORRISTOWN _ Lacking an "I" mentality and focused on unyielding "D," Morristown, coached by Jim Pisciotto, took its season to the limit. The Colonials, unselfish and harmonious, relied on relentless man-to-man defense to garner Morris County Tournament, sectional and NJAC-United Division titles. "The girls understood their roles and put the team first," said Pisciotto, the 2017 Soar-NJ.com Morris County Coach of the Year. "Some of them started but came out in the first quarter. They never asked why. No one complained about anything. The chemistry this group had was great. They enjoyed each other's company." Those elements translated into success…

Strambi is Soar-NJ POY

MORRISTOWN _ To the Junior Colonials, Elizabeth Strambi is a superstar. Kids flock to Strambi, Morristown's affable junior guard. They cling to her and climb on her. Strambi, comfortable with her elite status, lets them, laughing and joking as she drags them around. "Elizabeth is approachable, whether at clinics or games. Anywhere," Colonials coach Jim Pisciotto said. "Children look up to her. They watch her play. They look at her crossover dribble and say 'See what she just did?!?' They admire Elizabeth and she gives back. All of our kids do." Strambi, the 2017 Soar-NJ.com Morris County Basketball Player of the Year,…

Gnapp honored to coach North All-Stars

MENDHAM _ Mark Gnapp has spent a good portion of his life involved with basketball, first as a player then as a coach and AAU director at Hoop Heaven. On Sunday, March 26, Gnapp added another experience to his deep resume when he served as head coach of the North Squad at the North-South Girls Senior All-Star Game held at Rider University. "It was really great. I enjoyed it," said Gnapp, who has guided the Mendham girls program since 2012. "It was a lot of fun. The level of talent we have in New Jersey is very high. There are…

Bush, Rubino fuel White Team

MORRISTOWN _ Kaleigh Rubino was feeling glum when Pequannock's basketball season came to an end at Ramapo in late February. Several days later, Rubino, still feeling sad, handed in her No. 32 uniforms. Her high school career was officially over. On Wednesday, March 22, Rubino, chosen to compete in the Morris County Girls Basketball Coaches Association Senior All-Star Game, got her home jersey and shorts back. The shooting guard's smile returned, too. She'd have one more chance to play the game she loves. Three days later, Rubino, who sent out a Snapchat from home before the game, thrived on the hardwood at Morristown-Beard, netting five…

Hornets halted by High Point

WEST ORANGE _ Alexa Bursese isn't going to dwell on the last game of her high school career, certainly not the last 10 or 12 minutes. Bursese, who won't don a uniform in college, is going to remember all of the moments before the 48-33 loss to High Point in a Group II semifinal that brought Hanover Park's fine run to a halt. Getting ousted from the state tournament was disappointing and it saddened Bursese and her teammates but it was hardly devastating. Much of what made the Hornets one of Morris County's top teams was on display - hustle, teamwork…

A fine season comes to a close

UNION _ Errant passes. Hasty offense. Not responding well under pressure. Double-digit turnovers in the first half. Those are not the trademarks of Morristown basketball and certainly not what earned the Colonials three titles and kept them alive until deep into the season. Morristown, normally exceptional at rattling its opponents, simply could not contend with sophomore Diamond Miller and Franklin in a Group IV semifinal on Wednesday, March 8 and lost, 61-37, at Union High School. "I think we needed to stay together. Be more poised," said senior Kimberly Calloway, whose 12 points paced the Colonials. "We were nervous and tense and never settled…