By Mark Kitchin
The bounce has slowed a bit in area basketball but there are still some activity going on for the high school basketball teams, many of which are working diligently in the off-season. Whether it is summer leagues or just open gyms teams are using the summer to develop chemistry and learn some new things that will improve their teams in the winter months. … The Hopatcong Summer League finished its two-week session with Sparta gaining the overall title. The Spartans defeated Mount Olive 77-63 in the tournament’s title game last week. Sparta topped Jefferson in the semifinal game while Mount Olive defeated West Morris. By all accounts the 12 team league was a success. The girl’s basketball session of the Hopatcong Summer League started this week. … As of this writing there has been very little job movement among Morris County varsity coaches in the offseason, however there has been quite an upheaval among Sussex County coaches. Changes have been reported at High Point, Lenape Valley, Newton and Wallkill Valley to go along with Pope John which was reported directly after the season. It was especially surprising to hear that Lenape Valley coach Dan Moylan and Newton’s John Davey would not be back. Both coaches served a decade or more for their respective schools and would be a credit to any high school basketball program that would request their services. It wouldn’t be a shock if former Newton and Roxbury coach Dirk Kelly took over as coach for the Braves since his son is playing basketball for Newton the varsity level.…Morris County’s top current Division I player Billy Oliver will have to deal with a brand new head coach this winter. Penn State recently switched coaches when they hired former Boston University coach Patrick Chambers to replace Ed DeChellis who will be coaching for the Naval Academy next year. Oliver who had red-shirted two seasons because of problems with concussions and headaches finished his best collegiate season for the Nittany Lions. The former Chatham High standout played in 32 games and averaged 14 minutes a contest off the bench for Penn State. Oliver averaged 2.3 points and 1.4 rebounds in his limited role. Oliver did not compete in Penn State’s first NCAA Tournament contest in years when it lost to Temple 66-64 in the opening round.
If you have an item for the Morriscountyvarsityboysbasketball blog don’t be afraid to send an e-mail to email@example.com.