MADISON, NJ – Senior guard Aaron Fant led the Madison Dodgers with 15 points and eight other players had at least one basket en route to a decisive 69-40 victory over Morristown on Tuesday night at Madison High School.
Madison made Tuesday night’s affair against a tough Morristown team seem easy. They scored a team high 25 points in the first quarter and held the opposition to a mere 15 points in the first half.
“We were due this win,” Madison Head Coach William Libera said. “It was well deserved… after some tough losses.” Madison lost three of its previous four games before making a big statement in their “second to last game of the regular reason."
Fant scored the first five points of the game for Madison. He connected on a jump shot and a three pointer. Matt McHale scored the next three points for Madison when he made a layup as he was fouled on the play. He converted on his free throw attempt as part of an 8-0 run in the first 2:30 minutes or so of play.
The rest of the first quarter saw Madison continue their hot shooting. They also played outstanding defense, forcing turnovers from Morristown which led to some easy transition opportunities. The team completed another 8-0 run at the end of the first to take a commanding 25-8 lead after the first eight minutes of play.
“We hit shots and played really good team defense,” Fant said after the game about Madison’s fast start. “We forced them (Morristown) to take a couple of bad shots and we were able to get lay ups and and ones off of them.”
The second quarter was much like the first for Madison. Martin Horn nailed a three pointer to start off the quarter. Matt Gilbert and Fant then converted on a couple of fast break chances. Madison found themselves up 40-15 at halftime.
The beginning of the third saw Madison put together yet another run. They scored seven points in a row when Fant hit two lays up and Jake Meister made a layup and a free throw. The Dodgers were up 47-16 at that point.
“We did a couple of things to frustrate them (Morristown) and then when you get up at a certain point, it’s tough,” Coach Libera said. “We gave them some different looks… and played the way we wanted to play,” he added.
Another thing the Dodgers did well was take away the outside opportunities against a good shooting Morristown team. Morristown’s leading scorer this season, James Pisciotto, was held to just nine points. He was also forced to take some long three point shots that, more often than not, were not close to going in the basket.
“We knew he was a good shooter going in,” Fant said of Pisciotto. “We were shading to his way and forcing everyone else to beat us.”
At the end of the third quarter, Madison put together an 8-0 run to take a 55-21 lead going into the final quarter of play. The bench players for Madison did a solid job in the fourth as they were outscored by only four points against Morristown’s starters for the majority of the period.
The Dodgers are now 14-6 and will next host rivals Chatham High School in their final regular season game. The teams have so far split their season series 1-1.
“This is the rubber match. We like that were home. It should be a good atmosphere and were excited to play in it,” Coach Libera said of the contest against Chatham.
That game will be on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Madison High School.