MORRISTOWN, NJ – Through the first 15 minutes, the top-seeded Morristown girls’ varsity basketball team held the visiting Montclair Mounties to only two points in Friday evening’s 50-26 semifinals win. Morristown’s relentless full-court press defense forced turnovers and bad shots throughout the first half in a game they never trailed.
“Getting off to that hot start on defense really set the tone for us out,” said Morristown Colonials head coach Jimmy Pisciotto, who is in his fourth year as coach for the team. “You don’t win anything unless you play defense. Montclair is a well-coached team and I have a lot of respect of what they have done with that program over there.”
Elizabeth Strambi, who scored the first points of the game off a steal, recorded a double-double with a game-high 12 points and 11 rebounds. She also had five assists and three steals on the game.
Containing Alisa Wiggins, who was one game removed from a 34-point game was one of the focal points of Morristown’s defense, Pisciotto said after the win. Their game plan worked as she was held in check and scored only 11 points on the evening.
Three other Morristown players recorded double digit point totals, including Kayla Bush (12), Tara O’Neill (10), and Ayannah Smith (10).
“It’s one of those seasons where we’ve won the conference and the counties and right now, our focus is on the next game,” added Pisciotto. “I’m happy for the kids that they’re in such a good position to accomplish something like that. These types of opportunities don’t come like this all the time and they’ve earned that this year.”
The Colonials will host the No. 11-seeded East Orange Jaguars on Monday, March 6 at 7 p.m. as Morristown sets its sights on its first state championship since 1980. The Jaguars have already upset the second and third-seeded teams in their bracket and is coming off a two-point road win over West Orange. Morristown is averaging slightly more than 10 points per game than East Orange and will come into the matchups as the favorites.