Chatham and Randolph, the top two seeded teams will be playing in the Morris County Tournament final.
The top-seeded Cougars defeated fifth-seeded Hanover Park 69-61 in the night cap of the doubleheader held at County College of Morris in Randolph on Saturday. In the opening game second-seeded
Second-seeded Randolph defeated third-seeded Morris Catholic 75-57.
The Tournament final will be held on Saturday, February 27,in a 7 p.m. start also a County College of Morris.
Chatham 69, Hanover Park 61
Jack Rooney scored 20 points and Colin McKenna had 15 points and 10 rebounds despite fouling out midway through the fourth quarter to lift the 23-1 Cougars.
Matthew Winschuh had 17 points and Matthew Pitts added 11 points for the Hornets.
Hanover Park’s John Crown drives to the basket during first half action on Saturday. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)
Hanover Park opened the game with a 10-2 run but Chatham only trailed 17-15 by the end of the quarter. Hanover Park was a team that wouldn’t go away and had its moments throughout.
The Hornets got several emotional lifts throughout the second half. One of the biggest was Sam Cappabianca’s half court shot that beat the third-quarter buzzer to cut the Hornets deficit to 50-41.
Back-to-back threes by Donny Dattolo and Winschuh made it 53-47 with 6:30 left. in regulation.
Chatham’s Colin McKenna looks to shoot during Saturday’s Morris County Tournament Semifinal. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)
However, the Hornets could not bring its deficit to under five points. They were hampered by top-scorer John Crown fouling out with 1:30 left. He finished with seven points.
Chatham sealed the win on the free throw line by hitting 15 of 18 in the fourth quarter.
Randolph 75, Morris Catholic 57
The Rams improve to 18-5 on the season. Julian Boykins scored 19 points and Luke Nathan and Andrew Sciancalepore scored 16 apiece for Randolph.
Amir Allen scored 28 points and Jordan Spencer scored 19. Only two other Crusaders reached the scoring column. Morris Cathollic drops to 18-5. A balanced offensive effort and good overall defense helped the Rams return for the final for the first time in a decade.
Morris Catholic’s Amir Allen goes up for two of his 28 points in MCT action. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)
Randolph took a 17-10 lead in the first quarter and maintained a double-digit advantage throughout the second half.
On Allen, the Rams rotated three different players on the Crusaders senior.
Despite the best efforts, Allen got plenty of points but was not able to take over the game.
Randolph’s Zak Durbin and Morris Catholic’s Mark Manfredi fight for a rebound in MCT action on Saturday. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)
Randolph got good offensive efforts, especially from Nathan who established himself as a presence inside.
A 6-1 run late in the third quarter that included layups by Eric Schuette, Boykins and Sciancelepore gave Randolph 50-36 advantage going into the final period. Allen had 14 fourth-quarter points but the Randolph native, who was jeered by Rams fans, could not rally the Crusaders.