DENVILLE, NJ -- Emily Mitarotonda started Tuesday night's basketball game 22 points shy of 1,000 as a Lady Eagle. The gymnasium was all abuzz because the home crowd knew Feb., 18, could be Mitarotonda's night to reach the milestone. Plus, it was Recreational Basketball Night to boot, filling the stands with lots of aspirant girl athletes and their families.
Listening to Morris Knolls Head Coach Rob Moore's constant urging of "patience, patience" throughout the game, Mitarotonda eventually nailed her 1,000th point 48 seconds into the fourth quarter when she made the frontend of two free throws against Lyndhurst. Mitarotonda would go on to earn a game high of 23 points in the Golden Eagles's 58-34 victory over Lyndhurst. Other contributors included Maddie Knaack (14 points), Gabby Perna (6 points), Brianna Mennella (6 points), Brielle Gavito (5 points) and Kate Walsh (4 points).
Lyndhurst's Carley Martin scored the team's high with 10 points.
Mitarotonda's journey to 1,000 began her freshman year at Morris Knolls, but she has been playing basketball "for as long as I can remember," she recalls. The youngest of three, Mitarotonda started honing her skills in friendly competition with her brother and sister. Her sister Krista also played varsity basketball for Morris Knolls and came very close to getting 1,000 points while wearing green and gold.
When asked how it felt to achieve such a memorable and impressive goal, Mitarotonda replied, "It feels great! It doesn't feel real. It feels like a dream. I know everyone says that, but it's true. I feel like I need to wake up," she smiled before returning to greet congratulating fans, which included her parents, Bridget and Nick Mitarotonda.
In back-to-back home games, the Lady Eagles (11-12) will return to the court and host West Morris (8-13) on Wed., Feb. 19, at 7 p.m.
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