Mount Olive, Jefferson Morristown, Mendham advance in MCT


After a 39-year absence Jefferson High School is returning to the Morris County Tournament semifinals. Defending champion Mount Olive, third-seeded Morristown and fourth-seeded Mendham round out the final four. All four teams captured quarterfinal round victories in games played at Randolph High School on Sunday. The semifinals will be played on Saturday at County College of Morris in Randolph with games at 5 p.m. and 6:30.

The Falcons have not been to the semifinal round since 1975. For many years, the Morris County school competed in the Sussex County Interscholastic League Festival instead. It’s been five years since the leagues were revamped and the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference was formed. The Falcons have never advanced to the tournament final.

Jefferson 40, Chatham 32

Tyler Jones missed his first game of the season due to illness but his teammates rallied to help the Falcons advance to the semifinals. Chris Telman scored 14 points including a pair of clutch free throws in the final seconds to help the second-seeded Falcons open up a lead late in the contest. Senior guard Bryan Langan added 15 points for Jefferson which improved its unbeaten record to 19-0. Sophomore forward Colin McKenna scored 13 points for the seventh-seeded Cougars (12-7). Chatham had been finalists the past two seasons and won the tournament in 2012.

It was a 34-32 game when Telman was fouled on a drive inside a minute. The senior guard knocked down a pair of free throws with 39.7 seconds left to make it a four-point game. Chatham pushed the ball on offense but a pass to the baseline was stolen by J. R. Reese. He fired the ball down court and found his teammate Telman for a layup and a six-point advantage. Vin Ginefra knocked down a pair of free throws to account for the final score. Jefferson plays Morristown in the first semifinal round contest next Saturday at County College of Morris.

62 bb mct quartersJefferson’s Bryan Langan puts up a shot between two Chatham defenders on Sunday. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

Morristown 66, West Morris 46

The third-seeded Colonials pulled away with a 21-6 fourth-quarter effort. Four Colonials scored in double-figures to help advance the team to the semifinal round in back-to-back years. Senior guard Sean Hoehn and sophomore guard Jack Mongey scored 13 points apiece and Zach Certner and Nick Duff had 12 each for Morristown. The Colonials (16-1) are on a 10-game winning streak and still have not lost to a Morris County team this season.

Sam McClellan scored 16 points before he hobbled from the floor in the fourth quarter. Sixth-seeded West Morris (10-9) also played without point guard Sean McElwaine who missed the game with concussion symptoms.

9 bb mct quartersMorristown’s Zach Certner (32) battles for a rebound in MCT semifinal action. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

Mendham 55, Randolph 45

Senior forward Jack Horan scored 27 points to spark the fourth-seeded Minutemen to victory. Mendham (13-6) returns to the semifinals after a two-year absence. Barry Lynch scored 22 points for the 12th-seeded Rams (11-11). Randolph was hoping to advance to the semifinals for the third consecutive year.

Horan’s 12-point second quarter helped Mendham build a 26-14 halftime advantage. Randolph tried to rally late and got as close as 39-35 with about 3:30 remaining in regulation. A 6-0 run by Horan helped the Minutemen put it back to a double-digit advantage and Mendham hit its free throws in the final minute. Mendham faces defending champion Mount Olive in next week’s semifinals.

91 bb mct quartersJack Horan stepped up his offensive game for Mendham in MCT play. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

Mount Olive 97, Morris Catholic 59  

Zach Heeman had 31 points and grabbed 23 rebounds for the defending champion Marauders (17-2). Rashaan Spencer added 22 points for Mount Olive which is on an 8-game winning streak. Wayne Patterson scored 16 points and Amir Allen added 11 for eighth-seeded Morris Catholic (15-6).

The fireworks started early for Mount Olive. The Marauders started with a 26-15 first quarter and built a 49-32 advantage at the half. The Crusaders had no answers for Heeman, last year’s tournament MVP, who scored 20 first-half points and dominated in the paint with low post moves and putbacks.143 bb mct quartersMount Olive’s Zach Heeman put in a dominating performance on Sunday. (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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