MORRISTOWN, NJ - It sounds like a broken record at this point, but everyone on the Morristown girls basketball team’s schedule has the same issue:
No one out there can stop Elizabeth Strambi right now.
Chatham was just the latest victim of the junior guard’s brilliance on the court, as Strambi pumped in 21 points and cleared eight rebounds en route to a 54-30 Colonials win over the Lady Cougars at home. With Tuesday night’s victory, Morristown is off to a 6-0 start overall and won its initial NJAC-United Division tilt.
“(Elizabeth) just makes life easier for us,” said Colonials coach Jimmy Pisciotto after the game, “she’s an incredibly smart player that knows when to take it up herself or dish it off given the situation.”
Incidentally, Morristown did not have its best of halves in the opening first two quarters. After jumping ahead, 6-1, on two Strambi layups, Chatham’s Canryn Davies went on a personal 8-0 run to give her squad a 9-6 lead with 2:34 to go in the first. In that span, Davies—who led Chatham (5-3) with 14 points—drained consecutive three-pointers from the exact same spot in the left corner.
Four different Colonials scored in a 12-5 second quarter to help build the halftime lead to eleven points. Over that stretch, the Morristown bench came through with four points from Elizabeth Mongey and a put-back layup from Kate Kolb.
“I don’t think we played that well in the first half,” explained Pisciotto, “It wasn’t so much not taking the ball, but having poor shot selection. That kind of gets lost in the shuffle when you’re grabbing offensive rebounds.”
The potent 1-2 punch of Strambi and center Kayla Bush kicked in over the third quarter, as each put in four points, with Strambi assisting on both of Bush’s layups in the post. Mary Grace Vallachi finished home a fast break lay-up off a Kim Calloway assist in the quarter as well to extend the Morristown advantage to 34-20.
In the fourth quarter, the Colonials exploded with a 20 point barrage as Chatham began to push that tempo of the game. Six different players got on the board in that stretch, including a pair of top of the key three-balls from reserve guards Sarah Godfrey and Ayannah Smith midway through the frame.
Tara O’Neill—Morristown’s lone freshman on the squad—rounded things out with 8 points scored on the night.
Following Davies’ 14-point showing, no other Cougars players reached double figures.