Morristown-Beard edges Randolph to remain unbeaten

By Mark Kitchin

Morriscountyvarsityboysbasketball

RANDOLPH — If  Tyler Terens was feeling a little lonely or left out during last night’s game against Randolph, the Morristown-Beard guard made some plays  late in the game that will guarantee he won’t be ignored in the future.

The Crimson senior guard scored 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to help rally Morristown-Beard to a 63-61 victory over Randolph in a lively contest on Monday. Harrison Rosemond scored 18 points and grabbed some very important offensive rebounds, Brian Bartner added 16 and Chris Jenkins had 14 for the Crimson which improve to 8-0.

Randolph’s Julian Aiken put on a one-man show. The Randolph guard scored 38 points and helped the Rams take a 47-40 lead going into the fourth quarter. However, Terens fueled a 14-2 run including a pair of three-point shots to give Morristown-Beard the lead back in what would be an up-and-down fourth quarter. Terens and Rosemond also hit  free throws down the stretch to secure the win.

Tyler Terens, who scored 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter for Morristown-Beard, drives to the basket against Randolph’s Connor McMahon.

The trio of Rosemond, Bartner and Chris Jenkins usually provides plenty of offense for Morristown-Beard and Terens is often the player looking to dish off to teammates headed for the basket. However, after the Rams burst out to their biggest lead of the game at the end of the third quarter, Terens had no fear of putting up uncontested shots.

“I can’t explain it,’’ Terens said. “I’m not usually the guy to hit the shots. I was open and coach (Eddie) Franz has always had confidence in me to make an open shot. I just thought that I’d take another one and another one and they just went in.

“They were always tagging Chris and Brian, yelling ‘shooter, shooter’ when they touched the ball so if they were going to give me that much space I’m going to knock down a shot.’’

Terens first 3-point shot in the fourth quarter tied the game at 49-all at the six minute mark. He also knocked in another one less than a minute later following a Crimson miss to make it a 3-point game. After a Rams missed shot, he knocked down another jumper to make it 54-49 with 4:50 left.

Julian Aiken scored 38 points for the Rams. He was averaging 28 points a contest going into the game.

“He made huge shots,’’ Rosemond said. “He said he had a bad migraine and (before the game) he didn’t look like he was going to be into it, but he came to play today. Sometimes you have hardships but you still have to do what you have to do.’’

Randolph rallied and the next three minutes saw a pair of lead changes. A 3-point shot by Rams’ Connor McMahon cut their deficit to 59-58 with 1:20 left. Randolphwould steal the ball to get possession with less than a minute to play but the Rams missed a baseline jumper was rebounded by Rosemond.

Randolph was forced to use its fouls to get the ball back. They ended up fouling Terens and he knocked down a pair of free throws with 24 seconds left. Then a Morristown-Beard player tried to draw a charge on Randolph’s Aaron Harris and got called for the block instead. Harris hit his free throws to make it a 61-60 game with 11 seconds left.

After a Randolph timeout, Jenkins was fouled on the inbounds. He missed the front end of the one-and-one but Rosemond made a big play by grabbing the rebound and drawing a foul on his attempt at a putback. It was the second time in the fourth quarter that he gave Morristown-Beard a fresh possession off a missed free throw

“Me and my dad work on it at home,’’ Rosemond said. “There are certain moves on the free throw line I can use. I see how a guy is playing me. I can spin off baseline or go up the middle and I know that I can outjump anyone.’’

Rosemond hit both his shots with 9.9 seconds to get the Crimson lead back to three points. Then Terens fouled Randolph’s Ryan Harris at mid-court in a strategy designed to keep the ball out of Aiken’s hands.

Harris hit one of two free throws to make it a two-point game at 63-61. The Rams fouled Jenkins – who missed both his free throws – rebounded his second miss and called timeout with 1.6 seconds left in the game with a chance for one last heave at the basket. However, any plans the Rams had were dashed when the Crimson reserve George Langburg came off the bench and deflected the inbounds pass up in the air as the final seconds ticked off.

Randolph’s Julian Aiken pulls up in front of Morristown-Beard’s Harrison Rosemond in first-half action.

“We knew that they had a pretty good team,’’ Rosemond said. “We know that they had Aiken. He’s one of the best players in the county. … We didn’t take them lightly. We never take any game lightly. We take every game as serious as possible. We go hard in practice and we prepare the same way for every team.’’

The electric play of Aiken was a concern all game. The Randolph guard has emerged as the leading scorer in Morris County with his quickness and fearlessness on display all game. Aiken is relentless on drives to the basket and the Rams players look for him, especially when they are able to grab rebounds and push their transition game. Even when Morristown-Beard set up in its 1-3-1 zone defense he knew how to attack it. The times he couldn’t score, he was able to find teammates for open shots on the baseline. Add to that his ability to hit a high percentage from the free throw line and he can produce a lot of points any time he takes to the court.

It’s been more than two decades since a Randolph player has put up a game in the high 30s. The Rams have probably not produced such an effective scorer since the days of Tony McIntosh in the early 80s.

“He’s one of the best players in the county,’’ Rosemond said. “He gave us a little trouble in the first half and the beginning of the second half. … He knows what to do with the ball. He’s very crafty with the ball and he knows how to finish with the contact. He’s gotten stronger over the years. He can finish and he was piling up points on us.’’

Morristown-Beard led 14-8 after the first quarter but Randolph rallied from the slow start and tied the game 28-all.

Aiken scored 17 of his team’s 19 third-quarter points. He was responsible for all of his team’s points in a 13-0 run which included four fast break layups, two of which he was fouled on and knocked down free throws to create 3-point plays. He also drilled a shot from behind the 3-point line. His efforts brought Randolph from a 40-34 deficit to a 47-40 lead, but there was still one quarter left to play and Morristown-Beard wasn’t backing down.

 

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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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