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MCT final will match Montville, Chatham

RANDOLPH _ The question came up over and over and over during Montville timeouts. When are we going to play our game? Derek Lynn, coach of the top-seeded Mustangs, wondered just that as he watched his team trail fourth-seeded Villa Walsh for the bulk of the first half and into the third quarter in a Morris County Tournament semifinal at County College of Morris. Montville was working against two factors - the fired-up Vikings and their ultra-energized student fan section known as the Mosh Pit. And, yes, it certainly seemed like Montville's perfection was in danger. The Mustangs, bolstered by…

A perfect night for Mitarotonda

DENVILLE _ The setting was perfect for Emily Mitarotonda to pursue a significant milestone in her athletic career. Elementary-age girls from the Rockaway and Denville recreation programs were in the gym at Morris Knolls, watching from beyond the baseline. Some played basketball at the far end, perhaps dreaming of being the center of attention on a night like this in the future. Adding to the atmosphere was a near-capacity enthusiastic crowd. Mitarotonda, a senior forward, came through, as expected, scoring her 1,000th career point on a free throw 48 seconds into the fourth quarter becoming the third girl in school…

Mustangs thrive at the foul line

DENVILLE _ Montville got the test it was looking for. Bella Vito and Emma Wax combined for 32 points to lead the top-seeded Mustangs past never-say-die Morristown, 47-34, in a Morris County Tournament quarterfinal game Saturday, Feb. 15 at Morris Knolls High School. Montville, the last remaining unbeaten team in Morris County, will play Villa Walsh in an MCT semifinal on Friday, Feb. 21at the County College of Morris in Randolph at 8 p.m. Eighth-seeded Morristown took a 10-5 lead after one quarter and the Colonials had a 19-16 advantage at halftime. But the Mustangs outscored Morristown 14-7 in the…

Scoring burst powers Chatham

DENVILLE _ It took a little while for Chatham to shift into first gear. However, once the Cougars engine got going, they were not going to be stopped. After falling behind early, Chatham went on a 26-2 run spanning the end of the first quarter, the entire second quarter and the start of the third period on the way to a 51-25 victory over Morris Knolls in a Morris County Tournament quarterfinal game on Saturday, Feb. 15. Second-seeded Chatham, which has won four games in a row and 11 of its last 13, will play third-seeded Randolph in the MCT…

Villa Walsh makes history

DENVILLE _ Villa Walsh's initial goal for the Morris County Tournament was to play in the quarterfinals. It wasn't long before the Vikings decided they had much bigger dreams. "As time went on, we felt we had a chance to be one of the top four seeds and get to CCM," said Villa Walsh coach Van Johnson.  That mission has been accomplished. The fourth-seeded Vikings, paced by Kate Gehringer's 11 points and unyielding defense, defeated fifth-seeded Jefferson 30-21 in MCT quarterfinal action on Saturday, Feb. 15 at Morris Knolls High School and will make their first semifinal appearance at County…

Rams back in MCT semifinals

DENVILLE _ Randolph's Angeleen Mulero unleashed a high-arcing 3-point attempt from the left corner at the close of the third quarter and was knocked to the floor, landing in a seated position. For a second or two, Mulero waited, enjoying the role of spectator, to see if her shot would fall through the net. Mulero's trey hit its mark - the Rams' second basket to close a quarter - and gave third-seeded Randolph a four-point lead over St. Elizabeth. Mulero, who finished with a game-high 20 points, had yet another critical 3-pointer in the closing period, snapping a 30-30 deadlock…

Falcons rally past Madison

JEFFERSON _ In the frenzied fourth quarter, Tayler Soules' 3-pointer - her only field goal of the game - had a major impact. Soules, a junior guard, has made difference off the bench for Jefferson this season and, versus Madison in a Morris County Tournament first-round game on Saturday, Feb.8, her basket from outside the arc not only gave the Falcons, missing 6-foot-3 freshman center Amanda Nwankwo, the lead but much-needed momentum en route to a 40-32 victory. The 3-pointer 1:05 into the closing period provided fifth-seeded Jefferson, which will face No. 4 Villa Walsh in the quarterfinals on Feb.…

Montville digs deep; beats Chatham

MONTVILLE _ Chatham's 10-0 lead was established in a flash and, of course, left Montville reeling. And the Cougars kept scoring, seemingly unchallenged, rapidly pushing their advantage to 14. The Mustangs faced what seemed like a daunting, impossible task - fight back, pull even and, hopefully, assume control - but it wasn't going to be easy against Chatham, a sectional champion and Group III and Morris County Tournament runner-up last winter. Montville, although stunned by the deficit, turned to its defense, switching briefly to zone to slow the pace then going back to man to man. Again and again, the…

Montville's Wax nets 1,000th point

MONTVILLE _ For some players, scoring 1,000 points in high school is a burning desire. Not for Montville senior guard Emma Wax, who never zeroed in on the milestone. Sure, it crossed her mind a little bit but she's more about winning games than attaining personal accolades. However, on Monday, Dec. 30, Wax accumulated 24 points, including the 1,000th of her career, when Montville recorded a 63-37 victory over Hillside in the Mustangs' third game at the Paterson Kennedy Holiday Tournament. Wax not only scored, she had seven rebounds, five assists and five steals in the game which pushed Montville's…

Crusaders thrive vs. HP in opener

EAST HANOVER _ The number "1" on the front and back of Tyonna Bailey's basketball uniform reveals much about Morris Catholic's freshman guard. Bailey selected it for a reason and intends to live up to the lofty digit in every way imaginable. "I want to be first in everything," Bailey said. "That's why I chose it." In her high school debut, Bailey, already receiving attention from Division I colleges, put herself at the top, scoring 25 points and taking down 13 rebounds when the Crusaders defeated Hanover Park 71-42 in the NJAC-Liberty Division season opener for both teams on Friday,…