RANDOLPH, NJ– The 108th season of Morristown basketball came to its conclusion on Wednesday night.
Randolph—led by its standout, 6-9 center Luke Nathan—simply proved to be too much in the paint for the Colonials, as the fourth-seeded Rams eliminated Morristown, 53-40, in quarterfinal action in the NJSIAA North 1, Group 4 bracket. Morristown finished with a final record of 18-9.
Nathan, a senior with multiple Division I schools looking at him, had 20 points, 14 rebounds, and a jaw-dropping 10 blocks in a dominant triple-double effort.
“Give Randolph plenty of credit,” said Morristown coach Bill Connolly, “They have a lot of size, good shooters, and they defended well. We had a good first quarter, defended well in the second, but just had a long stretch where we couldn’t get on the board.”
Luke Haralampoudis, who finished his fine Morristown career with 11 points, opened the second quarter with a floater in the lane to put the Colonials up 10-5. However, Randolph would reel off the next 13 points to hop out to an 18-10 advantage.
In that stretch, Morristown was unable to shoot with any degree of accuracy from the floor. A Kevin Hoehn lay-up off a baseline drive with 1:41 to go in the second stopped the bleeding and gave Randolph am 18-12 advantage at half.
Hoehn, himself wrapping up a brilliant career in Maroon & White that saw him reach the 1,000-point mark, led the Colonials with 15 points in this game.
The Rams, who advance to play top-seeded Bloomfield in Friday night’s semifinal in Essex County, picked up where they left off in the third by going on a 13-2 run to put the game on ice.
A pair of layups from Nathan and a top of the key three-ball from Morgan Gleniewicz helped extend the advantage to 34-17 after three.
With approximately four and a half minutes remaining, both squads took out their starters, with Morristown’s senior lineup receiving a well-earned, loud round of applause from their fans.
Colonials reserve senior Jeremy Gibson, himself appearing in his final game, scored the final seven points of the game to complete the 53-40 scoreline and finish with his career high.
Hoehn, Harlampoudis, Gibson, Ashton Pardie, Jason Blanco, Josh Szott, Tom Ferrara, and Ryan Lattimore were Morristown’s seniors appearing in their final game.
Connolly had nothing but praise for his departing group.
“Kevin and Luke are both three-year starters who experienced a lot of success in their varsity careers. Three trips to the county semifinals, a great run to a sectional final last year. They won five state tournament games, which not a lot of players can say,” said Connolly.
He added: “But all of our seniors put in the time and commitment necessary to be a successful Morristown Basketball player, and they set a great example with their work ethic. It is my hope they are better off going forward with their experience here.”
You May Also Be Interested In
Fri, June 22, 9:00 am Bernardsville NJ Audubon: NJ Audubon Photography Instructors’ Summer Exhibition