Mount Olive edges Morristown to advance to final


RANDOLPH – Ryan Traub’s tip in of an Anthony Verrone shot attempt with 16.1 seconds remaining held up in Mount Olive’s 62-60 triumph over Morristown in the semifinals of the Morris County Tournament held on Saturday at County College of Morris.

Zach Heeman scored 19 points including his first two 3-point shots of the season and Rashaan Spencer added 12 for second-seeded Mount Olive. It is the third appearance in the finals for the Marauders and the second in the last two years.

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Mount Olive’s Chris Grillo and Morristown’s Sean Hoehn chase after a loose ball in first half action. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

Mount Olive will face Chatham, a 59-44 winner over Randolph. Next week’s title game will be a rematch of last year’s final in which the Cougars won 77-75 on a last second layup by tournament MVP Jonathan Berntsen.

Junior point guard Sean Hoehn scored 28 points for third-seeded Morristown, which was vying for its first finals appearance in nearly a decade. Ryan Brunnock added 13 points and nearly sank a shot to tie the game which rimmed out in the finals seconds.

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Morristown’s Ryan Brunnock drives to the basket early in the contest. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

Mount Olive led 30-27 at halftime but Morristown outscored their opponents 26-17 to take a 53-47 advantage going into the final period.

It was a group effort in the fourth quarter for the Marauders. Mount Olive received clutch baskets by Traub, Steve Leonardo and Verrone as well as Heeman and Spencer. After Traub’s follow, the Colonials moved the ball to the front court and called time out with 10.9 seconds left to set up a play.

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Mount Olive’s Steve Leonardo applies the pressure to Morristown’s A.J. Tracey during Saturday’s contest. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

Hoehn, who knocked down four 3-point shots in all, was swamped by defenders. Brunnock, a senior guard, found room inside on the drive. The ball danced on the rim but wouldn’t fall.

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Morristown’s Trey Davis grabs the ball as Mount Olive’s Zach Mears contests the rebound. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

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Morristown’s Jack Mongey isn’t going to get away from this Mount Olive defender. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)





About mcvbb

Mark Kitchin is a boys varsity basketball writer for the Morris County New Jersey area

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