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Morris Hills keeps rolling

ROCKAWAY _ Alex Katz was flattered that St. Elizabeth scouted Morris Hills three times. Katz noticed Panthers coach Bruce McCloud at a home game and two away ones. The extra attention reassured her that the Scarlet Knights had made progress after a difficult start. Katz was "honored" by the extra attention but she also was scared, knowing that St. Elizabeth would be super prepared and zoned in on disrupting Morris Hills' late-season success. That's why Katz never felt comfortable, not even when the Scarlet Knights widened their lead to 13 points on Victoria Aspiazu's 14-foot jumper 1:24 into the fourth quarter. The lead kept growing…

Jefferson rallies, Morristown cruises in MCT

RANDOLPH _ As a lacrosse goalie, Jefferson's Victoria Pietraszkiewicz is accustomed to accustomed to getting bruises. Plenty of them. "I'm used to the pounding," Pietraszkiewicz said. "I have bruises all over me when I get home after practices and games. It's part of the game." Pietraszkiewicz bears black and blues from playing basketball as well. The fearless junior forward never fails to go all out, recklessly diving for loose balls, grabbing rebounds and being physical. The willingness to dive and to constantly put herself in in the midst of the action has paid great benefits for the second-seeded Falcons, who rallied in…

Crimson fall in Prep B final

MORRISTOWN _ Everything had to come together perfectly in order for Morristown-Beard to topple Pennington in the Prep B championship game. Crimson coach Mike Sturgeon estimated it'd take 10-12 field goals from outside the arc to stay close. They'd also have a task of paramount proportions - containing the Johnson sisters inside. Morristown-Beard was unable to meet either of those requirements fully and was defeated 39-26 in the final on Wednesday, Feb. 15. Not only did the Johnsons, Ayanna and Leah, rule inside, specifically on the boards, but Carly Rice's 7-of-8 showing at the free throw line in the fourth…

Chatham, Morristown in MCT semis

DENVILLE _ The first quarter of Morristown's game Morris County Tournament quarterfinal-round game versus Morris Knolls left Colonials coach Jim Pisciotto wondering... and somewhat distressed. The Golden Eagles were aggressive and fearless on their home court, asserting themselves and running with top-seeded Morristown. At the end of the opening quarter, Morris Knolls had a two-point edge. It wasn't long, however, before the Colonials took control, utilizing an 18-point run in the second quarter to surge ahead of ninth-seeded Morris Knolls en route to a 60-34 win on Saturday, Feb. 11.  Fifth-seeded Chatham punched its ticket to the semifinals for the first time…

Hornets, Falcons triumph in MCT

DENVILLE _ Hanover Park coach Doug Wear is keen on attention to details. So, in preparation for their Morris County Tournament quarterfinal against Mendham, the Hornets put in even more work than usual, watching two of the Minutemen's games with Wear then viewing one on their own. Still, it was tough to get a handle on the Minutemen. One thing was certain - Mendham's Joey Meyers needed to be shut down. Hanover Park decided on a 2-3 zone even though it had seen the Minutemen versus man and 1-3-1 defenses. That choice of defense, along with double-digit offensive efforts by Kelsey Stites…

Jefferson's Langan 'in good company'

SPARTA _ It was an emotional moment for Nicole Lemieux when Taylor Langan, her best friend since kindergarten, scored her 1,000th career point for Jefferson. "Wow! It's just crazy," Lemieux said of the junior guard's achievement. "I love to see Taylor succeed. It was special. I'm so excited about it. This definitely isn't it for her. Taylor's going to do more things, bigger things." What lies ahead for Langan, of course, is unknown but the milestone she reached in a 54-49 loss to Pope John in a NJAC-American Division game on Tuesday, Feb. 7 is certainly a significant start. Langan,…

Minardi FTS aid Montville

MONTVILLE _ In the opening quarter of its Morris County Tournament first round game against Morristown-Beard, Montville was ultra exuberant. The fourth-seeded Mustangs were sharp in all aspects, scoring 15 points while limiting the Crimson to three. However, it didn't take long for Montville to lose some of its intensity and enthusiasm, getting outscored by 13th-seeded Morristown-Beard 11-2 in the eight minutes before halftime. Although Montville didn't take its game to the highest level again, it pulled out a 35-26 win over Morristown-Beard on Saturday, Feb. 4 "Consistency has been an issue for us and it still rears it head every once…

3-pointers propel Colonials

JEFFERSON _ Kimberly Calloway took a minimal amount of credit for the clutch 3-pointer that snapped a 42-42 deadlock with 3:55 remaining in the fourth quarter of Morristown's game versus Jefferson. The ball had made its way - rapid fire - around the perimeter and through the key before Calloway, without a field goal since the opening period, made the long-range basket. Forty-one seconds later, MG Vallacchi fired in another 3-pointer, enabling the Colonials to further distance themselves from the Falcons. "The ball movement helped me get it," said Calloway, the senior guard who finished with seven points in Morristown's 51-42 victory over Jefferson on Thursday, Feb.…

Morris Catholic fends off Villa Walsh

DENVILLE _ It has been a season of extremes thus far for Morris Catholic. Solid efforts followed by lackluster ones. Letdowns on defense after stretches in which the Crusaders have been relentless. On Monday, Jan. 30, Morris Catholic coach Rich Fachet was witness to a strong start by his young team as the Crusaders raced out to a 12-3 lead in the first quarter versus Villa Walsh and soon went up 16-3. Foul trouble ensued and the Vikings began to solve center Emma Duerr, who had six points in the opening period. Three minutes and 18 seconds after halftime, Morris Catholic's lead was in…

Lemieux plays big for Falcons

SPARTA _ Jefferson's Nicole Lemieux was not gifted with height. Lemieux, a junior forward, stands just 5 foot 6 but that's not a detriment. When she is called upon to mix it up with players taller and stronger, she simply takes on the challenges. On Friday, Jan. 20, Falcons coach James MacDermid put Lemieux on the court midway through the first quarter in what he termed "a nightmare scenario." And, Lemieux, the replacement for 6-foot-3 freshman Shelby Murawinski who had two fouls, immediately went to work, getting tips, boxing out and disrupting Sparta's offense. "I know I'm small," said Lemieux, a major…