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URI-bound Johnson in charge

MORRISTOWN _ On the first day of basketball practice, Morristown-Beard coach Mike Sturgeon couldn't help but pay more attention than usual to the actions of Tatiana Johnson. When Sturgeon last coached during the 2009-10 season, Johnson tended to hang back a little, perhaps allowing her older sister, Shanice, who surpassed 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, to have much of the spotlight.

Morella making impact at MO

MOUNT OLIVE _ Have a penchant for slacking or taking the easy route? Don't try it around Mount Olive girls basketball coach Pat Morella. Morella, who has been hard at work since he was a young child, has no tolerance for undesirable traits and those who don't hustle.

Top talent at HP Fall Hoop Classic

EAST HANOVER _ The Hanover Park High School Fall Hoop Classic featuring some of the top teams in the state, including Trenton Catholic, which won the 2011 Tournament of Champions, will be held this weekend, Nov. 19 and 20, at Hanover Park High School. Games will run from 9 and 9:30 a.m. through 5 p.m. both days. Twelve teams will take part, including the host Hornets, Chatham, West Morris, Randolph and Parsippany.

Reese will join Jaspers

PEQUANNOCK _ Although Mountain Lakes' Katie Reese hasn't taken a college class yet, she received a good dose of higher education over the last year or so. Reese gleaned much from the recruiting process, learning how to deal with coaches and figuring out how to handle all that came her way. She found it all "overwhelming" but, now that it's done, feels she made the right decision.

Ericksen takes Manhattan

WASHINGTON TWP. (Morris) _ Shayna Ericksen loves shopping for clothes. What pleases Ericksen, West Morris High School's reliable junior forward, more than browsing the racks for the latest styles is the prospect of doing it in New York City on a regular basis.

Tabakman commits to URI

PEQUANNOCK _ Within minutes, Pequannock's Sam Tabakman knew she belonged at the University of Rhode Island. "The campus was beautiful," said Tabakman, who received a scholarship to play basketball at the Division 1 college located in Kingstown. "I could see myself there right away. I loved the coaches and the players. I felt comfortable there.

Find The Courage takes to the court

SPARTA _ When Sammy Lapszynski began her freshman year at Jefferson High School, she towered over many of her classmates, standing 6 feet tall. Lapszynski's height made her valuable as a basketball player but some students couldn't help but make comments.