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Basketball

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…

Strambi powers Colonials

MORRISTOWN _ Morristown had taken care of all of the little details while preparing for its sectional final versus East Orange. The top-seeded Colonials, riding high after claiming Morris County Tournament and conference titles, were ready, no doubt, but one question loomed before game time: Would it be necessary to open all of the bleachers? The extra seating behind the team benches was needed and junior guard Liz Strambi and Morristown thrilled the enthusiastic near-capacity crowd with a 45-35 victory over East Orange to take the North Jersey Section 1, Group IV championship on Monday, March 6. The Colonials' only other sectional crown was attained…

Mendham bows out of tourney

MENDHAM _ Meredith Curtin's mind was consumed by Mendham's sectional quarterfinal versus Voorhees. Curtin, a senior co-captain, hoped she and the Minutemen would knock off the Vikings and extend their season. She had her heart set on playing in Saturday's semifinals. So, Curtin did all she could - scored, leaped, dove, sank all six of her second-half foul shots - to ensure that Mendham would remain alive in the North Jersey Section 2, Group III bracket. The all-out energetic effort, though, wasn't enough as the third-seeded Minutemen fell, 51-46, to No. 6 Voorhees on Thursday, March 2. "This game meant so much to me," Curtin…

Bulldogs exit state tournament

BUTLER _ It wasn't the outcome Butler wanted certainly not after overcoming an eight-point halftime deficit to gain a fourth-quarter lead. Still, Bulldogs coach Kim Wilson couldn't fault her team which has played an abundance of determined and focused minutes this season. Butler sought to deter North Warren standout Kelly Vuz and, for the most part, succeeded. Vuz, however, took charge in the final 2:40 of the North Jersey Section 1, Group I opening-round game on Tuesday, Feb. 28, netting the last six points, including the 1,000th of her career, to boost the 10th-seeded Patriots over the seventh-seeded Bulldogs, 39-34.…

Colonials nab MCT championship

RANDOLPH _ Elizabeth Strambi, anticipating Morristown's appearance in the Morris County Girls Basketball Tournament final, found it difficult to focus on her schoolwork all week. By Friday, Feb. 24, the day of the Colonials' matchup with Jefferson for the title, Strambi, a junior guard, had only one thought in her mind - winning. She recalled taking a quiz in environmental science and plodding through. "I couldn't function. I was too excited," said Strambi, who was later named MVP for her exceptional effort after top-seeded Morristown raced past No. 2 Jefferson, 47-23, at The County College of Morris. "School was hard all week.…

Solid late-season showing by Bombers

BOONTON _ The moment Boonton coach Jim Drury laid his eyes on his players, he knew a tense, hard-fought night game versus Newton the night before had taken its toll. "As soon as I saw them in the gym, I could tell they were exhausted," Drury said. The Bombers' mental and physical state had Drury concerned but they dug deep and garnered a 28-24 victory over North Warren less than 20 hours after falling short versus the Braves. It came as no surprise that it took Boonton a quarter or so to build up its energy and desire in its rematch…

Morris Hills keeps rolling

ROCKAWAY _ Alex Katz was flattered that St. Elizabeth scouted Morris Hills three times. Katz noticed Panthers coach Bruce McCloud at a home game and two away ones. The extra attention reassured her that the Scarlet Knights had made progress after a difficult start. Katz was "honored" by the extra attention but she also was scared, knowing that St. Elizabeth would be super prepared and zoned in on disrupting Morris Hills' late-season success. That's why Katz never felt comfortable, not even when the Scarlet Knights widened their lead to 13 points on Victoria Aspiazu's 14-foot jumper 1:24 into the fourth quarter. The lead kept growing…

Jefferson rallies, Morristown cruises in MCT

RANDOLPH _ As a lacrosse goalie, Jefferson's Victoria Pietraszkiewicz is accustomed to accustomed to getting bruises. Plenty of them. "I'm used to the pounding," Pietraszkiewicz said. "I have bruises all over me when I get home after practices and games. It's part of the game." Pietraszkiewicz bears black and blues from playing basketball as well. The fearless junior forward never fails to go all out, recklessly diving for loose balls, grabbing rebounds and being physical. The willingness to dive and to constantly put herself in in the midst of the action has paid great benefits for the second-seeded Falcons, who rallied in…