RANDOLPH, NJ- In a back and forth game between border town rivals, the Morris Knolls girls basketball team converted an unorthodox 3-point play in the final minute to secure a thrilling 36-34 win over Randolph on Thurs. Jan 28
Coach Robert Moore said after the game, “My coaching staff and I have been preaching to them all year not to dwell on the last play but to make the next one, and I felt they did that well tonight.”
Two players in particular who did that well were Christi Conroy and Krista Mitarotonda, who stepped up at just the right time to 'make the next play’, one right after the other to help grab a victory for their team down the stretch.
Trailing by a point 34-33 with under a minute left, Knolls had the ball when Conroy earned a trip to the foul line for two shots with only 35 seconds left in the game. Conroy hit the first free throw to tie the score, and the whole gym held their collective breath as she launched the second shot.
The second one missed its mark, but found an even better mark when it would up in the hands of Mitarotonda after a battle under the boards. Mitarotonda put the missed shot right back up and into the basket, as the fast and dramatic turn of events gave the Golden Eagles a 2 point lead with 32 seconds to play.
The Golden Eagles weathered a flurry of Randolp's attempts in the final seconds to hold on for the win.
Moore added, “I thought the girls showed a strong cohesiveness tonight and are really starting to bond together on the floor. I thought they supported each other well, accepted responsibility for their successes and failures and did not dwell on them.”
The Golden Eagles hope the dramatic win will provide a springboard of confidence they can ride into the County Tournament. The opening game of the County tourney is against Roxbury, who the Golden Eagles just defeated on Jan 26.
Moore concluded by stating, “In order for us to be successful in the county tournament, we need to continue to develop that cohesion and bond on the floor that the best teams have. They need to continue to work on trusting each other both on and off the floor to have each others’ back.”