Roxbury edges rival Randolph

By Mark Kitchin

Morriscountyvarsityboysbasketball

ROXBURY – The Roxbury fans came dressed in summer attire and carrying pool noodles and boogie boards, but the Gaels players knew that their game against Randolph would be no day at the beach.

Roxbury’s hard work was rewarded in a 58-54 triumph. Senior point guard Ryan Kelley scored 14 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and the Gaels stopped a late surge in the final period to defeat the Rams on Wednesday night.

Sophomore forward Doug Alexander grabbed 10 rebounds to go along with his seven points and sophomore guard Anthony McMyne had eight points including a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left to secure the victory for Roxbury (5-6).

Ryan Harris scored 17 points, Pat Archer had 12 points and Barry Lynch chipped in for 11 for Randolph (4-9).

“I think this is going to get our season going,’’ Kelley said. “We hope this win leads to bigger and better things for us.’’

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Ryan Kelley scored 26 points including 14 in the fourth quarter to lift Roxbury on Wednesday. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

Kelley played like a man on a mission during the fourth quarter. The Rams led 45-41 with 4:37 left but then the Gaels went on an 11-0 run with eight of the points coming from Kelley. He knocked knocked down a 3-point shot, drove nearly the length of the floor for a layup and then was fouled while shooting behind the 3-point arc and knocked down three consecutive free throws. Tim Pilrun also knocked down a 3-point shot during the rally which gave Roxbury a 52-45 advantage with 2:33 left.

“He’s a senior and he was playing against Randolph at home,’’ Deeb said of Kelley. “He was really outstanding tonight.’’

Despite their record the Rams are a dangerous team. One of the keys to dealing with Randolph is defending Ryan Harris. The Gaels knew they couldn’t stop one of the county’s better scorers, so they did their best to contain him.

“We sent out our best defenders,’’ Alexander said. “Ryan and Timmy went out there and locked him down in man (defense) and in the end we went into a box-and-one (zone). We didn’t want him shooting threes. We wanted him to drive and get into that zone.’’

They also didn’t want to give an inch to the Rams on the boards. Randolph excelled when Pat Archer or Aaron Harris or Chris Woodbury parked themselves in the paint and picked up rebounds and putbacks.

“It was a tough battle but I thought we all played scrappy out there,’’ Alexander said. “I thought we all played tough defense. We just played hard the whole game. We’ve been working on defense the whole season. Our plan has been making our defense into our offense. When we get that going, we are a great team.’’

Alexander was one of the Gaels that were able to grab their share of boards and keep Randolph from getting more scoring opportunities.

“Doug had a big game inside,’’ Deeb said. “He had a handful of blocks. Malcolm (Chavis) and Rob Roddy were fighting for those balls so they didn’t get second-chance points. That was important.’’

After a 13-13 first quarter, Roxbury was able to breakaway with a 14-7 second quarter effort. Well-timed 3-point shots from Pilrun and McMyne helped the Gaels gain a 27-20 edge at the half.

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Roxbury’s Tim Pilrun is surrounded by Randolph’s Mike Talbot (21) and Ryan Harris during first half action. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

An 8-2 run by Randolph, fueled by a pair of Ryan Harris threes, kept the Rams close to start the third quarter but 3-pointers by Kelley and Alexander kept the colorful and raucous home crowd happy. Still the Rams managed to tie their neighboring rivals twice in the third quarter. A rebound and layup by Woodbury tied the game at 39 going into the final period.

Kelley started the fourth quarter with a layup but then Randolph went on a 6-0 surge to take the lead. Back-to-back layups by Archer helped the Rams to a 45-41 advantage with 4:31 left. However, that was when Kelley, a two-year varsity starter at the point, took over the game.

“He owned it,’’ Deeb said. “He controlled the game. He led. He talked. At the end of the game he makes a coach’s job easier because he tells everyone what they should be doing. He was coaching out there.’’

It started with a 3-pointer by Kelley from the left side. After a jump ball gave the Gaels a turnover, Roxbury found Pilrun, who hit an open 3-point jumper from the left side to help Roxbury regain the lead 47-45.

“He’s a workhorse,’’ Kelley said of his teammate. “He plays great defense all the time. He hustles. He dives all over the place. He rebounds and he came up really big with a good shot. He’s not known to shoot the ball that much but he came up big.’’

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Roxbury’s Rob Roddy contests a shot by Randolph’s Thayer Wallace in first half action. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

After another Randolph miss, Kelley got the ball near the foul line and couldn’t be stopped. He drove nearly the length of the court and into a tangled mess of players but found a path to the basket for a layup and Roxbury was up by four.

“The lane opened up for me and I just wanted to go full speed at it,’’ Kelley said. “I knew if I took any other route I would have been stopped.’’

Another quick steal gave Kelley another scoring opportunity and he took advantage of it by flinging up a shot just as he was hit behind the arc. Three solid free throws later, the Gaels were up 52-45 and Randolph was calling time out with 2:33 left.

“I didn’t know how close (the defender was),’’ Kelley said. “When I came off that screen (from Alexander) I rose up and double clutched in the air and he just hit me. It was lucky they called it.’’

There was still a little bit of business left. Back-to-back turnovers gave Lynch and Ryan Harris layups and made it a 3-point game with just over a minute left. A Kelley layup off a long McMyne pass extended the advantage and after a miss the Rams were forced to foul. Both Kelley and McMyne each knocked down a pair of free throws in the final 40 seconds to give Roxbury a satisfying win and a boost in its chances of a decent Morris County Tournament seed coupled with its recent triumph at Mendham.

“That was a big win,’’ Deeb said. “At the end of the season you want to look back and see quality wins. We have two really good wins so far.’’

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Roxbury students celebrated like it was a day at the beach. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

Morris County results

Chatham 50, Mendham 36 – The Cougars led 30-13 at the half for a rare win in Mendham. Joe Timmes had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Sam Carson and Luke Conrad had 10 points apiece for Chatham (8-3). Will Gibbs had 10 points and five rebounds and Alex Jacobs added eight points for Mendham (6-5).

Morristown 56, Delbarton 52 – The Colonials (8-3) took control over their rivals from down the street with a 23-3 second-quarter spree. Morristown spaced out its scoring. Sean Hoehn scored 12 points, Zach Certner had 10 and Ryan Brunnock had nine. Ryan Curran paced the Green Wave with 17 points.

Mount Olive 90, High Point 65 – Senior center Zach Heeman scored 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for the Marauders. Ryan Traub and Rashaan Spencer scored 16 points apiece for Mount Olive. The Marauders have won four in a row.

Jefferson 62, Wallkill Valley 41 – The Falcons took control early with an 18-4 first quarter advantage. J. R. Reese scored 20 points, Tyler Jones had 12 and Kevin Silverstein had 10 for Jefferson (8-2). The Falcons have won four consecutive games.

Pope John 62, Morris Knolls 42 – Hugo Jimenez paced the Golden Eagles with 16 points.

Mountain Lakes 55, Kinnelon 52 – Paul Tarnawski scored 19 points and Christian Cuccinello and Chris Herring contributed 11 points apiece for the Lakers (7-4). The Lakers have won four of their last five games. R. J. Giannetti had 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Colts (5-4).

Pequannock 71, West Caldwell Tech 33 – The Golden Panthers are 7-5 and on a five-game winning streak. Kurt Weinmann scored 17 points and Kevin Glynn and Ian Campbell added eight points apiece.

Parsippany 42, Madison 40 – A 19-10 fourth-quarter burst lifted the Red Hawks. Max Berns had 15 points and Lionel Chambers contributed nine points for Parsippany (3-6). Sean Haughey had 10 points for the Dodgers (3-7).

Morris Hills 62, Vernon 54 – Matt Szkola scored 19 points including five 3-pointers for the Scarlet Knights. Matt Toohey added 11 points and Rob Sihlanick contributed 10 for Morris Hills (4-8).

Boonton 83, Morris Tech 30 – Sami Asani scored 27 points, Joe McCabe had 21 and Chris D’Avanzo had 19 for the Bombers (2-9).

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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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