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Basketball

Mendham tops West Morris

BASKING RIDGE _ The lead changed frequently when Mendham and West Morris clashed on Dec. 14 in a season opener. The Minutemen ruled the first quarter and the Wolfpack had the upper hand in the second period. West Morris had a slim one-point edge at halftime. And, the third quarter was tense, too, as the sister schools stayed close. It was uncertain until the end but then the Wolfpack emerged with a six-point win. Fifteen days later, the scenario was completely different as Mendham, dominant on the boards, took a commanding lead over the first eight minutes and went on…

Mo-Beard fends off Panthers

FLORHAM PARK _ Christina DeMattheis knew well what the consequences would be if she missed a critical 3-pointer midway through the fourth quarter and they were equally unpleasant. DeMattheis, a senior guard for Morristown-Beard, figured she'd probably "get yelled at." Worse yet, St. Elizabeth, applying pressure and anxious to rally from a 15-point deficit, would come back and win. However, DeMattheis, took no heat nor did the worst of her fears materialize as she connected from outside the arc with 4:26 remaining. The 3-pointer, instead, earned her immense praise from coach Mike Sturgeon and was critical in the Crimson's 55-38…

Mustangs' "great season" comes to an end

MONTVILLE _ A first-ever appearance in the sectional semifinals. Wins over Chatham, Morris Catholic, High Point, Jefferson, West Morris, Morris Knolls and Dayton. A school-record 22 victories. In a week or two, Montville, saddened by a season-ending 54-42 loss to Old Tappan in North Jersey Section 1, Group III, no doubt, will look back and realize all that it has accomplished. The banner in the gym may not tell tales of titles - yet - but, one day in the near future, it most likely will. "It's been a great season," Mustangs sophomore guard Emma Wax said. "We did so…

Morris Knolls loses heartbreaker

DENVILLE _ After falling behind 15-8 in the first quarter of its North Jersey Section 1, Group IV quarterfinal versus Ridgewood, Morris Knolls used exceptional man-to-man defense to limit the Maroons to four points over the next 16 minutes. The top-notch defensive effort enabled the Golden Eagles to gain a three-point edge going into the closing quarter. It was so exceptional that the Morris Knolls scorekeeper put a heart around the zero in the scorebook that represented Ridgewood's points in the third period. The Maroons, no doubt, were upset after missing six free throws. Suddenly, that slim lead disappeared. With…

Defense, steals propel Villa Walsh

MORRISTOWN _ Stifling defense that produces steals has been Villa Walsh's mainstay this season. The Vikings, of course, continued with that formula for success, using man-to-man full-court pressure to rattle 10th-seeded St. Mary of Rutherford en route to a 70-23 victory in its Non-Public North B state tournament first-round game on Tuesday, Feb. 27. "Our defense is the biggest part of our game," said junior forward Mary Cate McGlone, whose 14 point and 6 steals paced Villa Walsh. "We work hard on running different defenses. We switch in and out of them and follow up on the other end as…

Chatham topples Colonials for MCT title

RANDOLPH _ Shortly after the final buzzer sounded signaling the end of the Morris County Tournament final and sending Chatham into a frenzied celebration, coach Joe Gaba's cell phone received a deluge of text messages. Among those checking in immediately and sending congratulatory texts were former players Amanda Berntsen, Grace Conroy, Cassie Falone, Caitlyn Kuntz, Kelsey and Kendall Davies and Liz Ford. Several of them had experienced the thrill of playing in MCT title games when the Cougars were runners-up from 2010-2012. On Feb. 23, 2018 - a date long to be remembered in Chatham High School sports history -…

It'll be Chatham-Morristown in final

RANDOLPH _ Hannah Kelly and Chloe Blanc had done their stints for Chatham, trying their best to contain Morris Catholic's Danielle Mills. Mills, the not-so-easy-to-contain junior guard/forward, boosted her game in the third quarter in an attempt to erase the Crusaders' four-point halftime deficit. She was succeeding and becoming more and more exuberant with each basket. Displaying her usual aggressiveness and determination, Mills drove to the hoop then fired in a 3-pointer. She drew a foul and sank both free throws with 3:40 remaining in the third to bring Morris Catholic even, 24-24. It was then that Cougars coach Joe…

Kolb, Colonials survive Hornets

DENVILLE _ Kate Kolb was discussing her career-high 18-point game and her contributions to Morristown's 50-45 defeat of Hanover Park in the Morris County Tournament quarterfinals. The Colonials' center noted that she thought she played well and stopped speaking. "I hate talking about myself like that," she said before resuming the interview. Kolb, very humble, had every right to revel in her play which helped top-seeded and defending champion Morristown come out on top. The 6-foot-2 senior, sidelined for the first six games of the season with a concussion, was exceptional when the Colonials (16-2) needed her most. With leading…

Falcons avenge loss to Mustangs

DENVILLE _ The turnovers were upsetting when Jefferson suffered an early-season loss to Montville. The Falcons were perturbed by their shooting, too. What bothered Jefferson most, though, about the setback at the Mountain Lakes Tournament was something else. The Falcons' record dropped to a not-so-stellar 1-3. Not surprisingly, a team meeting was called. Jefferson turned it around but another matchup with the Mustangs loomed, this one in the Morris County Tournament quarterfinals. The Falcons knew what it'd take and got ready for a major showdown. It didn't materialize. Fifth-seeded Jefferson built a 10-point advantage in the first quarter and defeated…

Crusaders back in MCT semis

DENVILLE _ Morris Catholic's Danielle Mills couldn't resist the victory lap after going to the basket hard and making a layup in the midst of a 12-point run that bridged the third and fourth quarters. As the ball slipped through the net, Mills, bursting with emotion, raced past the baseline, did a little loop and went back onto the court. Her exuberance stemmed from two things: Accomplishing what coach Rich Fachet had just mentioned in a timeout and the fact that the Crusaders were likely to return to the Morris County Tournament semifinals after a one-year absence. Powered by Mills,…