By Mark Kitchin
PARSIPPANY — West Morris’ 3-9 record is what it is but Highlanders coach Wayne Shapiro felt that the team’s victory over Parsippany Hills on Friday is worth twice as much as it does in the standings.
“I told them they won two games,’’ Shapiro said. “They won the game and withstood the attack. It’s like winning two games but it only counts as one.’’
West Morris took a second quarter lead and held on to repel several Parsippany Hills threats before securing a 66-56 victory on Friday.
Pat Barron scored 22 points for West Morris. Brian Mulcahy scored 19 points and Connor Clark added 13 for Parsippany Hills
Parsippany HIlls Manny Dance (10) and a teammate put pressure on a West Morris ballhandler during Friday’s game.
Graduation losses have hit West Morris especially hard this season. This year’s Highlanders are bursting with youth, inexperience and inconsistency but at times they have shown flashes of the team they can become in the future.
“Maybe we don’t sustain it for the full 32 minutes but there are periods of good play,’’ Shapiro said. “You know that if you can extend those periods of good play, you are going to get some wins and that’s what we’ve been trying to tell our kids.’’
Injuries forced the Highlanders to shuffle their lineup a bit on Friday. Shapiro opted for speed by bringing in Adam Melray and Will Anderson to see major minutes on the varsity level.
“Will started at point guard today,’’ Shapiro said. “He took over and did a nice job.
“I thought most teams were quicker than we were. We can go with our two bigs and Melray we can rotate.’’
Parsippany Hills’ Nas Cotten (12) and a West Morris guard scramble for a loose ball during Friday’s game.
After a close first quarter, West Morris was able to take control with a 15-6 second period effort which made it a 34-22 game at the half. At times Parsippany Hills rallied but West Morris limited its mistakes and found ways to bounce back and keep a double-digit advantage.
“We shot well in the second quarter and they didn’t shoot well,’’ Shapiro said. “Our defense caused us the score points.’’
West Morris also got a good effort from starting center Sam McClellan, who scored 10 points. The 6-foot-5 sophomore is one of the major reasons the Highlanders may have more success and cause opponents more problems in the second half of the season.
“He’s probably learning the most,’’ Shapiro said. “We are trying to be as patient as we can, but we still have to push him. We think he can be a pretty good player. It’s not every day you get a big guy.’’
West Morris’ Pat Barron (23) had a solid offensive evening for West Morris in its victory over Parsippany Hills.
The win can help West Morris jump a spot or two in the Morris County Tournament seedings which will be held on Sunday, but it’s probably in the form of confidence that the triumph will have the greatest effect on the Highlanders.
“A win can take care of things better than I can,’’ Shapiro said. “It is just a shame that we have to wait until Wednesday to play again.’’
Other scores of note:
Morristown-Beard 74, Butler 47 – The Crimson remain unbeaten. Morristown-Beard took control with a 27-19 first-quarter run.
Madison 55, Parsippany 45 – Matt Gilbert scored 12 points and Cameron Dias added 11 for the Dodgers.Madison took control early with a 17-2 first quarter effort.
Pope John 85, Mount Olive 79 – The Lions rallied late to even the season series.
Hanover Park 74, Morris Catholic 42 – Jimmy Sivollela scored 27 points in the Hornets’ romp.
Sparta 44, Morris Hills 25 – The Spartans prevail with the help of a 17-4 second quarter run.
Jefferson 58, High Point 35 – The Falcons built a 25-10 halftime advantage.
Mendham 66, Morristown 48 – The Minutemen sweep the season series.
Randolph 59, Roxbury 55.