Morristown defeats Roxbury; Mount Olive gains revenge

By Mark Kitchin


ROXBURY — When opposing teams play Morristown a tough decision must be made. Should it try to shut down high scoring point guard Sean Hoehn, or allow him his points and stifle those Colonials around him.

It’s Morristown’s job to make sure no matter what that opponent decides —  it is the wrong decision.

On Tuesday, Hoehn might not have been at his very best but his Colonials teammates made sure it didn’t matter.

The senior guard scored 16 points and Nick Duff added 12 to lift Morristown to a 69-47 victory over Roxbury in boys basketball action on Tuesday.

James Mongey contributed 11 points, Jack Mongey had 10 and Zach Certner added nine points for the Colonials (10-1).

Stephen Loring had 14 points and Doug Alexander added 12 for Roxbury (4-8).

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Morristown’s Sean Hoehn drives for a layup during first-half action on Tuesday. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

With a 25 points per game average going into the contest and his reputation as a shooter and creator that began to generate interest last year, Hoehn is the engine that fuels the Morristown offense. However, his teammates have worked hard to find ways to score when Hoehn is heavily covered or having an off shooting day.

“He is the focal point,” senior forward Duff said. “I know if we were playing against him we would stress stopping him. We’ve played 11 games and we’ve seen five box-and-ones (zone defenses) just trying to stop him. He doesn’t care if he scores. He just wants to win. It makes no difference to him.”

Roxbury made sure that Hoehn had to fight off two if not three defenders hanging on him during his drives to the hoop. The attention focused on him made his teammates available for open shots.

“He knows that and he knows guys like Drew (Hahn) and Matt (Strambi) and Jack (Mongey) can all hit shots,” senior guard James Mongey said. “I think it’s nice that when they key on him we have guys that can knock down some shots and get to the rim.”

“It’s tough for teams to double him when we have a kid (Certner) who can take anyone to the post,” Duff added. “All we do is shoot in the summer. We just try to get in the gym and get better. As we prove ourselves, it gets tougher for teams to key on him. We can just beat them in so many ways.”

It is by design that Morristown have surrounded Hoehn with shooters. Duff, the Mongeys and Hohn all hit threes against the Gaels on Tuesday. They also have A. J. Tracey who uses his quickness to cut to the basket and Certner who has improved his offensive repertoire in the paint.

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Nick Duff’s dunk was a first half highlight for Morristown. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

“It’s not natural,” Morristown coach Bill Connolly said. “They work very hard at it. They put in a lot of time to improve their skill level; their ability to drive it, their ability to cut, their ability to screen on offense. All 12 of these guys really work hard at it. They are always around. They are so coachable. That’s why they continue to get better.”

Certner, a senior center, had a battle of his own on Tuesday. He scrambled and scrapped with Roxbury’s Alexander for rebounds ad inside points. It was no surprise. The Colonials knew that the Gaels were a scrappy bunch looking to post an upset.

“I just tried to bang around and play hard,” Certner said. “Just wall up on him. He’s going to score his points. We just tried to limit him as much as we could.”

The Colonials were in control from the opening tap. They started the game with an 11-0 run. The Gaels rallied to cut the deficit to 14-8 by the end of the first quarter. Morristown took control with a 25-12 second quarter effort to take a commanding 39-20 advantage at the half.

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Morristown’s Zach Certner and Roxbury’s Doug Alexander battled all night long. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

Duff scored 9 of his 12 points and Hoehn had seven points during the pivotal second quarter. The Colonials matched the spirited Gaels nearly bucket for bucket the rest of the way. It was another win for a team that still hasn’t suffered a loss against a Morris County opponent. It was a job well done but the Colonials know they have a long way to go.

“I still think we haven’t won anything yet,” James Mongey said. “We haven’t won the conference or the county title or the state title. We still have to come out every day and work to get better. Those three goals are what we strive for. Anything can happen. We have to keep playing.”

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Morristown’s A. J. Tracey reaches past Roxbury’s Anthony McMyne to get his hands on the ball. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

Local results

Morristown-Beard 44, Pequannock 34 

Stephen Sangree scored 20 points to pace the Crimson (9-4). Kevin Glynn had 11 points for the Golden Panthers (5-6).

Randolph 64, West Morris 56

Greg Moserowitz scored 22 points to spark the Rams. Michael Talbert had 16 points and Barry Lynch added 11 for upset Minded Randolph. Conor Barron’s 20-point performance paced the Wolfpack (8-5).

Montville 65, Morris HIlls 35

Jacob Kaplan scored 23 points to spark the Mustangs. Jacob Warech had 18 points and Tyler Storch added 13 for Montville (8-4). Dillon Washington scored 15 points for Morris Hills. Montville took control early by posting a 25-5 first quarter score.

Chatham 68, Parsippany Hills 46

Graham Delaney scored 17 points to lift the Cougars to a road victory. Sophomore Colin McKenna added 15 points for the Cougars (9-4).

Mountain Lakes 71, Kinnelon 57

Matt Reese scored 23 points and Luke St. Lifer added 16 to lift the Lakers in a battle of neighboring rivals. A 14-2 second quarter run provided the difference. Jaison Buchanan scored 19 points and Zackary Moen had 16 for the Colts.

Madison 49, Parsippany 45, OT

Gavin Wallace’s 16-point performance paced the Dodgers. Madison rallied from a 17-5 first-quarter deficit and played strong defense in the second half. Kevin Armstrong and Darnell St. Germain scored 10 points each for Madison. Leonard Lee scored 21 points for Parsippany.

Mount Olive 68, Sparta 60

The Marauders gain their revenge from an opening day loss. Zach Heeman scored 19 points. Donte Wise had 16 and Rashaan Spencer had 15 for the Marauders. Mount Olive built a 22-10 first quarter edge and maintained its advantage the rest of the way.


About mcvbb

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

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