Soaring season for Morris Knolls Golden Eagles

By Mark Kitchin

Morriscountyvarsityboysbasketball

Morris Knolls season review

It was a season unlike any other for Morris Knolls this year. Head coach Ken Ferrare has been pushing the Golden Eagles program forward the last few seasons with only traces of success. This year Morris Knolls burst through with a 16-8 record.

“We haven’t had a winning season since 1978 and a .500 season since 1984,’’ Ferrare said. “Last year I thought we were going to have a winning year but two of our starters got injured and it just didn’t work out. This was the year we were able to do it. 

A strong returning core bodes well for the future of the Golden Eagles.

Senior leadership: The trio of Bruce Mayo, Jordan Harvey and Rob Sinegra will be sorely missed.

“They were great kids,’’ Ferrare said. “They worked hard and did a lot of the dirty work that made everything possible.”

Ferrare said that Mayo was his 5-foot-11 power forward, but the 3-year varsity player could play big and provided points and rebounds despite being undersized for the position. Harvey helped the Golden Eagles in a variety of ways.

“Jordan really improved on the defense,’’ Ferrare said. “He was the hardest working kid in practice and a real role model. He wasn’t an AAU kid. He learned by playing on the playground.’’

Sinegra was a defensive specialist. He wasn’t counted on to score points but he was challenged every game in trying to limit the opposing team’s best offensive player.

Highlights: Morris Knolls had a shocking win over Mendham on the road early in the season. It was the type of regular-season triumph the Golden Eagles had not enjoyed in years. They played well in the double overtime season finale against long-time rival Roxbury which was also having its best season in decades. Getting a win against sister-school rival Morris Hills in a game that was held at County College of Morris also gave the Golden Eagles a thrill. Playing a state game was also an honor Morris Knolls but a short lived one as the team lost to Paterson Kennedy which ended an otherwise satisfying season.

Hope for the future: The Golden Eagles will have a strong core returning next year which might provide an encore to this year’s success.

Junior forward 6-foot-5 Niko Kotoulas averaged 16.3 points and near double-digit rebounds a game but is just as pivotal off the court.

“He’s a leader,’’ Ferrare said. “He was always counted on to get the kids up. HE has a tremendous work ethic. He’s a very mature kid.’’

They also bring back their point guard Esaun Mobley, who had a break out season.

“He had a lot of good games for us,’’ Ferrare said. “He led us in assists, steals and 3-point from the floor. He took a big step and I think he’s going to take another one next year.”

Six-foot-seven Kevin Miller will also lend a defensive presence on the squad. He has developed into a rebounder and a shot blocker that most high school teams covet.

The Golden Eagles jayvee hovered around .500 this year but have some good pieces. Next year people will discover Matt Signer and Chris Stark who were exposed to some varsity play this year.

Offseason plans: Ferrare has worked hard to get the Golden Eagles program back on course. The players are kept bouncing all summer. For the second consecutive year they will host a summer league that will run from late June to late July. They will also be very active in the annual Morris Knolls recreation camp and will attend a 4-day team camp at William Paterson in Wayne.

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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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