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Pauldos power Crusaders to MCT crown

RANDOLPH _ Morris Catholic freshman Jacqueline Edelman had been here before. Sort of. That's why Edelman, a 6-foot guard/forward, is accustomed to the fanfare and hoopla surrounding high-pressure games, like the Morris County Girls Basketball Tournament final on Friday, Feb. 16. "I wasn't really nervous. No. Barely," said Edelman, a resident of Augusta. "I've played in thousands of games." That may have been a slight exaggeration but, no doubt about it, Edelman is beyond battle tested. Still, each time she takes to the hardwood, she's thrilled and motivated to make memories. And, the top-seeded Crusaders' 73-41 victory over Chatham in…

MCT 2024 Final: Crusaders, Chatham

RANDOLPH _The fantasy novel Madison Miller held in her hand said it all and more... "A Court of Wings and Ruin." The title of the 736-page book can be applied to Morris Catholic's season, one in which it has ruled the hardwood, leaving opposing teams reeling with their ability to crush opponent's hopes. Morristown, which fell behind early but rallied to come within eight points 3:19 after halftime, was the 21st team to experience the Crusaders' relentlessness. The Colonials had exceptional stretches but were defeated 70-38 by top-seeded and defending champion Morris Catholic in a Morris County Tournament semifinal on…

MC, Colonials secure berths in Final Four

  DENVILLE _ Morris Catholic has relied on many different elements to formulate an ultra-successful 2023-24 season.   Two of those elements are sophomore Kennedy Brown and senior Madison Miller, both transfers from Pope John in Sparta.   Brown and Miller, along with identical junior twin sisters Mya and Mia Pauldo, senior center Alexis Rosenfeld and freshman forward Jacquline Edelman, helped lead the top-seeded Crusaders to a 76-22 victory over ninth-seeded Morris Knolls in a Morris County Girls Basketball Tournament quarterfinal on Saturday, Feb. 3 at Morris Knolls High School.   Morris Catholic, which has won the last two MCT…

Jefferson, Chatham gain MCT semifinals

DENVILLE _ When it comes to free throws, a well-known idiom applies to the Jefferson girls basketball team. They know the drill. Or, in this instance, the drills. The sixth-seeded Falcons work diligently on their foul shots during practice sessions, engaging in drill after drill. They prepare for pressure situations and possible late-game fatigue. On Saturday, Feb. 3, it all paid off - again - when Jefferson defeated No. 3 Madison 41-35 in overtime in a Morris County Girls Basketball Tournament quarterfinal at Morris Knolls High School. In the second game of the quadruple header, second-seeded Chatham beat No. 7…

Madison triumphs on road in opener

PEQUANNOCK _ Eight minutes into the season, Madison was up by 13 and seemingy on track for a blowout win over Pequannock. Instead, that impressive start, which was marked by superb passing and incessant communication, especially on defense, dwindled and, ultimately, disappeared late in the third quarter. The Dodgers went from dominant early on to highly concerned as the Golden Panthers closed in and tied the score. Madison, however, endured what its coach, Lisa DiTuro, referred to as an "experience" and triumphed 52-39 over Pequannock in a NJAC-Liberty Divison opening-day game on Thursday, Dec. 14. "I'm proud for this experience…

Crusaders hoist Non-Public B trophy

TOMS RIVER _ Think the Non-Public B final was intense? It certainly was for the fans, whether they were cheering on Morris Catholic or Rutgers Prep. However, for the Pauldo sisters, Mya and Mia, this was routine. Commonplace. Most certainly ho-hum. The Pauldos, sophomores who play for the Crusaders, have played in games like the one that took place on Sunday, March 5 at the RWJBarnabas Health Arena since third or fourth grade. So the effort it took to claim the Non-Public B trophy required little sweat and worry by the Pauldos and Morris Catholic, who rode out several storms…

Randolph shakes off Mendham for sectional crown

RANDOLPH _ Allyson Kuridza has an abundance of bruises and wears them proudly, knowing they were acquired while going into battle with the Randolph girls basketball team. Eight days after getting her largest one - a contusion three inches in diameter on her upper right arm - in a first-round game against Rahway, Kuridza, known for her hard-nosed play, gained a few more while putting in a top-notch effort in a 53-43 win over Mendham on Tuesday, Feb. 28 in the North Jersey Section 2, Group III final. The sectional title was the Rams' second in four years. In 2020,…

Reigle recovers, boosts Dodgers

MADISON _ Alex Reigle went to her usual spot in the Madison locker room at halftime and leaned against the wall, just like she does for every home game. This time, though, Reigle, annoyed with herself for, in her words, "missing easy layups right under the basket," closed her eyes and took deep breaths for five minutes before returning to the gym. She was determined to get a subpar first-haf showing, in which she scored three points, out of her head. If Madison was to emerge victorious from the North Jersey Section 2, Group II semifinal and get the opportunity…

Matus lifts Morris Catholic to 14th MCT crown

RANDOLPH _ Daniella Matus considers Sunday "a day off" but she finds it difficult to take a rest from basketball. Instead, Morris Catholic's Matus spends an hour to 90 minutes in a local gym working on her game. Highly successful from outside the arc, she, of course, fires in 3-pointers and practices layups and pullups. It's a rigorous but necessary workout. The Crusaders are, no doubt, grateful Matus is so diligent. Top-seeded Morris Catholic engaged in a heavyweight bout with second-seeded Montville in the Morris County Tournament final on Friday, Feb. 17 and prevailed, 62-51, with a stirring comeback highlighted…

Crusaders, behind Rosenfeld, get chance to defend

RANDOLPH _ Alexis Rosenfeld's presence and involvement on the court, in her own words, "changed the dynamic" for Morris Catholic this season. Rosenfeld, who stands 6 foot 2, is a formidable force on both ends of the hardwood and, apparently, knows her worth. In the second MCT semifinal on Friday, Feb. 10, Rosenfeld, a transfer from Saddle River Day School, dominated, scoring 18 points and taking down 18 rebounds to fuel the Crusaders' 75-44 win over the Rams at County College of Morris. "Alexis is a huge piece of the puzzle," Morris Catholic coach Billy Lovett said. "She protects the…