MORRISTOWN, NJ- The Morristown Girls basketball defeated Passaic Tech on Tuesday night; 51-38 in the first round of the state tournament. The Colonials trailed 26-14 midway through the 3rd quarter before they outscored 13th seeded Passaic Tech 37-12 in the final 12 minutes of play. Tara O’Neill scored 12 of her team-high 18 points in the 2nd half, as the Colonials secured their spot in the North 1 Group 4 Quarterfinal round on Thursday.

“Our focus was to extend our press and force them into mistakes,” said head coach Jim Pisciotto. “We were settling for too many 3-point shots in the first half and that’s just not our game.”

Morristown couldn’t figure out the Bulldog zone defense in the 1st half, as the Colonials were unable to hit outside shots. Passaic Tech led 8-3 after the 1st quarter. 

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Passaic Tech pushed the lead to 7 at the half, behind 16 points from Jayanna Mathis.

Aziah Adams finished with 10 points while Michaela Lattimore scored 8 and grabbed three rebounds. Kolby Lynch scored all 5 of her points in the 4th quarter and was key to the Colonial defense hauling in 10 rebounds.

“Once other girls started hitting shots, it opened the game up for Tara even more,” said Pisciotto. “We were more aggressive in the 2nd half and it showed.”

The Colonials will play on Thursday at Morristown High School against the winner of Livingston and Union City.