By Mark Kitchin
The challenges only get tougher for the Mendham Minutemen. Saturday’s battle with Scotch Plains-Fanwood is expected to be a fierce one.
Mendham and Scotch Plains will compete in a North Jersey Section 2, Group III semifinal contest at Mendham High with a 6 p.m. tip-off.
Scotch Plains, the seventh seed advanced with a stunning 53-52 triumph over second-seeded Newark East Side on Thursday. Guard Patrick Dougher hit a pair of free throws with 40 seconds left and Scotch Plains prevailed. Mendham’s challenge will be to slow down their top scorer Charles Oliver. Oliver had 25 points including seven 3-pointers in the Raiders triumph on Thursday. Matt Jegede, a junior forward is another offensive threat for the team that handily defeated Iselin Kennedy in the opening round.
Mendham always feels comfortable at home. The Minutemen can choose among guards Andrew Jacobs and Colin O’Donnell or forward Kyle Dennis, who is the team’s most athletic defender in the matchup, in deciding who to cover Oliver. O’Donnell drew the key defensive assignment in the team’s win over Colonia.
Offensively, Mendham will continue to rely on Tore Vicarisi’s inside scoring. It helps if the Minutemen can knock down threes. Jacobs, O’Donnell and Vicarisi’s twin brother Alex have shot better in recent weeks. Any strong perimeter play opens up space for Vicarisi on the inside to score points and draw fouls. Overall, it looks to be a fun afternoon at the Mendham High gym.