Chatham, Mount Olive, Morristown, Randolph advance in MCT

By Mark Kitchin

Morriscountyvarsityboysbasketball

RANDOLPH – Chatham, Mount Olive, Morristown and Randolph each advanced with victories in the quarterfinal round of the Morris County Tournament on Sunday. As a result, third-seeded Morristown will play second-seeded Mount Olive and 12th-seeded Randolph will play top-seeded and defending champion Chatham in next Saturday’s semifinal round to be held at County College of Morris in Randolph.

Chatham 71, Mountain Lakes 39 – Joe Timmes scored 20 points and Scott Baker added 14 to spark the top-seeded and defending champion Cougars. Rob Raiola added 13 points for Chatham which played without the services of point guard Luke Conrad due to injury. Chatham took control early turning an 18-12 first-quarter advantage into a 33-20 halftime edge. Eleven different players scored for the Cougars’ balanced attack. Paul Tarnawski scored 14 points and Chris Cuccinello added 12 for eighth-seeded Mountain Lakes.

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Chatham’s Joe Timmes makes a move to the basket as Mountain Lakes’ Christian Cuccinello keeps up. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

Mount Olive 74, Mendham 50 – The up-tempo Marauders advance to the semifinals for the second consecutive by topping the Minutemen in quarterfinal action. Zach Heeman scored 21 points and Rashaan Spencer scored 19 for the Marauders. Mount Olive trailed 13-12 at the end of the first quarter but went on a 25-13 burst to take a 37-26 advantage at the half. The Marauders started the third quarter on an 8-0 run and maintained a double-digit advantage the rest of the way. Point guard Bobby Stotz scored 21 points and Nick D’Elia added 14 for the seventh-seeded Minutemen.

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Mount Olive’s Zac Heeman scrambles for a rebound in Sunday’s quarterfinal game against Mendham. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

Morristown 43, Delbarton 39 – Ryan Brunnock’s steal and layup off a Sean Hoehn tipped pass was a key play in the Colonials triumph. Third-seeded Morristown returns the semifinals after nearly a decade. Hoehn scored 17 points including six of the team’s nine fourth-quarter points. Brunnock added seven including his layup which gave Morristown a 40-37 edge with 1:05 left. Hoehn also hit a couple of free throws with 17 seconds left to make it a 5-point game. Delbarton’s Van Johnson made a layup with 8.3 seconds to keep the Green Wave alive, but Jack Mongey’s free throw with seven seconds sealed it. Rob Thoma scored 13 points and Ryan Curran chipped in with eight for sixth-seeded Delbarton.

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Sean Hoehn scored 17 points to lift Morristown past Delbarton in quarterfinal action. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

Randolph 48, Morris Knolls 35 – Ryan Harris and Mike Talbert scored 15 points apiece to lift the Rams in the battle of bracket busters. The win cements a Randolph rematch of last year’s semifinal contest against Chatham. Saturday’s battle with the Golden Eagles was physical and sometimes ugly as both teams shot poorly and scrapped and clawed for every loose ball and rebound. The Rams led 12-4 at the end of the first quarter and 19-7 at the half. The Golden Eagles battled back and cut the deficit to 29-25 on Connor Rich’s 3-point play with 6:39 left in regulation. Randolph responded with a 10-3 fueled by a pair of buckets by Talbert and a steal and layup by Harris. The Rams maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way. Brian O’Neill and Carroll Rich scored 10 points apiece and Mike Signer added nine points for the 13th-seeded Golden Eagles.

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Morris Knolls’ Mike Signer and Randolph’s Pat Archer battle for a rebound during Sunday’s quarterfinal. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

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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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