MORRIS KNOLLS, NJ – The top-seeded Morristown girls’ varsity basketball team showed their resiliency in a back-and-forth game in which they trailed throughout most of the first half against No. 8 Hanover Park Hornets as they held on to win 50-45 at Morris Knolls High School on Saturday evening in the Morris County quarterfinals matchup.
Hanover Park started the game shooting hot and jumped out to a 9-5 lead thanks to eight unanswered points and had the reigning Morris County Champions on their heels early. The Hornets held a 14-9 lead after the first quarter. Despite being behind most of the second quarter, the Colonials jumped ahead thanks to two late back-to-back three-point shots from Nicole Ferrara and Morgan O’Neil, who combined for 15 points on the evening.
“This is what we’ve done all season – we found a way to win,” Morristown coach Jimmy Pisciotto said after the game. “We came back in this one and we survived and advanced. That’s what it’s about this time of year.”
The second half featured eight different lead changes and Hanover Park led by one point with 2:28 left in the game.
“It took some time for us to get comfortable and into a rhythm this game,” Pisciotto added. “But we did a good job closing this one out.”
That changed when Kate Kolb drove into the lane and converted on a lay-up to give the Colonials a one-point lead with just under 90 seconds left in the game. Kolb had a game-high 18 points and added six rebounds on the stat sheet.
Once the Colonials took the lead, their full-court press defense locked down the win as they advanced to the semifinals.
Morristown (16-2) will take on the No. 5-seeded Jefferson Falcons (17-4) on Friday, February 16 as they look to keep their focus on repeating as champions in the Morris County Tournament.
“We played them at our place earlier this year and it was a war,” Pisciotto explained, recalling Morristown’s 44-37 win over the Falcons.
Jefferson has become somewhat of a familiar rival to the Colonials as they met in the county’s semifinals in 2016 and the championship in 2017. Morristown won both games respectively.
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