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Petzinger is first girls regional champ

LITTLE SILVER _ Sydney Petzinger was the first. No one can ever take that piece of history away from her. Parsippany's Petzinger became the first regional champion in New Jersey high school girls wrestling history when she pinned Alisa Safforld of Belleville in 4:22 in the 100-pound North Region final on Sunday, Feb. 17. Taking home a silver medal and also advancing to the state tournament at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City in two weeks was Parsippany's Hailey Budney. The top-seeded Budney, a senior, dropped a 2-1 verdict to Veronica Whitacre of Monroe Township in the North 136-pound final. The…

Mo-Beard, Chatham to face off in MCT final

RANDOLPH _ The text from Gianna Rella had an emotional impact on each and every one of Morristown-Beard’s players. Rella, a senior, sent the encouraging words from a bed at Overlook Hospital, where she underwent an appendectomy five and a half hours before the Crimson’s first appearance in the Morris County Tournament semifinals on Friday, Feb. 15 at County College of Morris. Morristown-Beard's players read her text in their group chat right before taking to the floor for warmups. You've got this. I'll be there for the final. It was apparent that third-seeded Morristown-Beard, which will meet top-seeded and defending…

Macaluso powers Hornets in overtime

DENVILLE _ Meghan Macaluso was in the right place at the right time. And, because of it, she delivered the biggest clutch basket of her career for the Hanover Park Hornets at the most opportune moment of the game. Macaluso, a 5-foot-11 senior forward, made an opening for herself underneath on the left side and hit a layup with 1.1 seconds left in overtime to give fourth-seeded Hanover Park a 48-46 victory over fifth-seeded Randolph in a Morris County Girls Basketball Tournament quarterfinal on Saturday, Feb. 9 at Morris Knolls High School. "When I was a sophomore, I missed the front…

Morristown stuns No. 2 Crusaders

DENVILLE _ The team. The team. The team. Those six words are entrenched in the minds of the players on the Morristown girls basketball team. Each time the Colonials exit their home locker room, whether for practice or a game, they jump and tap a sign that bears those repetitive words. "We think about it a lot," said senior guard Nicole Ferrara, whose 3-pointers, along with Kolby Lynch's spirited play, helped Morristown rally in the third period en route to a 49-42 upset of second-seeded Morris Catholic in a Morris County Tournament quarterfinal on Saturday, Feb. 9. "We're playing for…

Crimson headed to MCT semis

DENVILLE _ Morristown-Beard's Gianna Rella accomplished things at a dizzying pace in the second quarter. Rella, a senior guard, tends to always go all out but this was an extra-intense effort. With the Crimson holding a six-point lead 1:37 into the period, the 5-foot-2 Rella, unguarded, went up - extraordinarily high - to take down a defensive rebound. Less than two minutes later, she made a steal. Not for one millisecond did Rella let up. The performance by Rella was representative of the entire Morristown-Beard team: Relentless and driven. Because of it, the third-seeded Crimson, who harbored unpleasant memories of…

Crusaders triumph in time of sorrow

DENVILLE _ Mimi Rubino, as always, tied back her hair and piled it high on her head when Morris Catholic clashed with Morris Hills in a Morris County Girls Basketball Tournament first-round game on Saturday, Feb. 2. Rubino, a junior guard, thought about one of her former coaches, Bob Caprio, several times that day, recalling the inside jokes they shared, in particular the one about her wavy brown hair, which falls almost to her waist when it's down. "Coach Caprio kept telling me he was going to take scissors and cut it all off," she said with a smile while…