O’Donnell Fuels Gaels MCT Triumph

                       Roxbury defenders swamp a Morristown player during Saturday’s MCT Quarterfinal.

By Mark Kitchin

morriscountyvarsityboysbasketball

The secret is out. Shaun O’Donnell likes shooting in the Randolph High School gym.

Roxbury’s senior forward scored 18 points including 15 in a break out third quarter to help the Gaels to a 58-41 victory over Morristown in the final contest of the Morris County Tournament quarterfinals held Saturday night.

Senior center Angelo Mangiro added 14 points and Mike Giordano added 12 for the eighth seeded team. The Gaels return to the semifinals for the second time in three years and will play Delbarton a 55-44 winner over Madison.

The Cinderella story ended for 17th-seeded Morristown, which defeated top-seeded Pequannock, to make the semifinals. Dominic Pisciotto scored 16 points for the Colonials which put up a determined effort but couldn’t respond after falling behind in the second half.

O’Donnell led the way mixing up 3-point shots and drives to the hoop in order to help the Gaels to a 10-2 run to start the third quarter. O’Donnell and Giordano combined for four 3-pointers in all to help Roxbury open up a 44-29 advantage.

“I like this gym,’’ O’Donnell said. “We just shot well. Sophomore year I had a big game and a hit a few threes. It was the same with this game. I like shooting in this gym.’’

“You never know which OD is going to come,’’ Giordano said. “It’s on and off. It gets us going when he hits them. He came off the bench and really got us going.’’

In that quarter the Gaels also upped its intensity, went to a smaller lineup, inserting Kevin Bischoff, a good-on-the ball defender and changed to more man-to-man defense. The result was striking.

“It seemed to pick things up for us,’’ Roxbury coach Jon Deeb said. “Our whole energy level moved up. We started moving the ball better and then Shaun had a great third quarter.’’

                                                                  Roxbury’s Angelo Mangiro (44) battles for the ball

Roxbury was concerned with the Colonials primary threat Jim Pisciotto. The senior scored 13 points but only had six of them going into the fourth quarter.

“We didn’t want him to make threes,’’ Deeb said. “He’s their high scorer. He seemed to make threes every game. We wanted to make those guys make tough shots.’’
Morristown led 14-9 after the first quarter, but Roxbury rallied tying the game twice. A Dom Pisciotto layup off a Dylan Black pass in the final seconds of the second quarter gave Morristown a 21-19 halftime advantage.

“We were disappointed in the first half,’’ O’Donnell said. “We thought we didn’t play as good as we could have and our intensity and effort wasn’t what it should be. We weren’t moving as hard as we could offensively.’’

O’Donnell started the third quarter by nailing a three-pointer and would eventually score 9 of the first 13 points for the Gaels to help them build a 32-23 advantage during the first five minutes of the period.

“He’s one of our best shooters,’’ Deeb said. “Tonight Shaun and Mike hit a few. It’s important to us because everyone tries to pack it in and stop Angelo. It makes a whole lot easier.’’

The senior forward continued his onslaught by knocking down a pair of threes and Giordano finished the quarter with another trey to give the Gaels a commanding 44-29 edge going into the fourth quarter. Roxbury maintained a double-digit advantage the rest of the way.

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About mcvbb

Mark Kitchin is a boys varsity basketball writer for the Morris County New Jersey area

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