Morris County Tournament starts this weekend with preliminary round

By Mark Kitchin

Morriscountyvarsityboysbasketball

How surprising will the Morris County Tournament be this year? The preliminary round games are often a good indication of the level of roundball madness that may take place this season.

The boys basketball MCT kicks off on Friday and Saturday with nine preliminary round games in the 25-team tournament. Check with your local schools or the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference website for possible time and date changes. Most of the games on this and the following weeks are scheduled for Saturday’s leading up to the title game on February 25 at the County College of Morris in Randolph. 

Boonton at Randolph – The Rams are the eighth seed and possess Morris County’s scoring leader in Julian Aiken. Randolph is also coming off a big win over Morris Knolls, which had not lost to a county opponent. The Bombers are seeded 25th.

Dover at Whippany Park– The ninth-seeded Wildcats are having one of their stronger seasons in recent years. The return of point guard Tyler Raff and the emergence of Andrew Holleran and Jake Waddon have made the Whippany Park team a competitive opponent. The Tigers are seeded 24th this season. Terence Berry and Errick Williams are among Dover’s main players.

Parsippany Hills at Jefferson – The Vikings are seeded 23rd and have shown signs of improvement in the first half of the season. Manny Dance has been providing their offense lately. The 10th-seeded Falcons are deep and experienced but lack a go-to player. Drew Hall runs the offense and Jon Kristofferson has flashed the scoring touch.

Parsippany at Hanover Park– The Hornets have been on a roll the last few weeks and seem to have found some consistency in their game. Brendan Rudolph is among area leaders in assists, Matt Williams is fearless in his drives to the hoop and Jimmy Sivolella has the touch from the outside for the 11th-seeded squad. Parsippany has struggled but got a burst of confidence after beating crosstown rivals Parsippany Hills last week. Lionel Chambers is among the players needed to step up for the Red Hawks.

Morris Catholic at Morristown– New coach William Connolly has the Colonials playing a more consistent brand of basketball. Ryan Brunnock has become one of the top offensive threats for the 12th-seeded Colonials. One of the biggest weapons for the 21st-seeded Crusaders is 3-point specialist Darius Osario-Vega. 

Kinnelon’s R. J. Gianetti (44) is among the many area players active in the Morris County Tournament prelim games this weekend.

 West Morris at Kinnelon – The 20th-seeded Highlanders suffered graduation losses but always seem to play their best come tournament time. Pat Barron, Charles Savite and their teammates are looking to kick it up a notch. The 13th-seeded Colts have one of the fiercest rebounders in the county with R. J. Gianetti under the boards.

Delbarton at Montville– The 14th-seeded Mustangs have had their share of success early. The Przetak brothers (Tom and Marc) have been at the heart of much of their triumphs. It’s been an uncharacteristically difficult year for the Green Wave. At times Ryan Curran and Brian Hardin have given Delbarton a big lift.

Roxbury at Pequannock – The 18th-seeded Gaels have struggled but always play tough defense and Ryan Kelley does his best to keep Roxbury in the battle. The Golden Panthers are also a team on the rebound. Ryan Brogan and Dave Colombo are important cogs in 15th-seeded Pequannock’s machine.

 Butler at Morris Hills– An injury to their standout scorer James Spadaccini has put the Bulldogs in a tailspin after a good start. Billy White and Nick Ballistreri will have to step up for the 17th-seeded team to advance. The 16th-seeded Scarlet Knights have been puzzling this year. Evan Staikos is good for points and rebounds in the paint. Ranell Bell can give Morris Hills a lift on the perimeter and on drives to the hoop.

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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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