HACKENSACK, NJ - The Morristown boys basketball team was one game away from burning up the record book.
Bill Connolly’s red-hot Colonials were gunning for their first sectional title in the program’s 107-year history, and Morris County’s first ever in Group 4 competition.
But fourth-seeded Hackensack was able to stave off a furious Morristown comeback in the final minutes in a wild 67-64 victory in the NJSIAA North 1, Group 4 final that seemed to have a momentum swing every few minutes.
Morristown’s deepest state tournament run in 43 years and a 19-8 season’s ledger came to a close, but not before a frenetic game that included:
-Five Hackensack dunks, including an alley-oop slam.
-A masterful, career-high 29 point performance from Morristown senior Rohan Walker in his final game.
-Morristown destroying the Comets’ man-to-man defense in the opening quarter to take a shocking 18-4 lead on the road.
-The home team switching to a zone defense and going on an extended, 48-21 run at one point to go up in double-figures midway into the fourth.
-A Morristown comeback attempt that featured back-to-back-to-back three-balls from Kevin Hoehn
(15 points), Rohan Walker
, and Josh Szott
to trim a 14 point deficit to 5 almost instantly.
Walker, Colin Brunnock, Ethan Bolson, Steven Strambi, Justin Sontupe, and Bailey Wild sported the Maroon & White for the final time as senors, a group that saw Morristown Basketball return to prominence in their careers.
Atiba Taylor—a mid-season transfer to Hackensack from Pope John by way of Roselle Catholic—paced the Comets with 22 points en route to their 6th sectional title in their 100-plus year history. Hackensack will face North 2, Group 4 winner Linden in Wednesday’s Group 4 semifinal round.