WARREN, NJ - Watchung Hills girls basketball improved to 14-1 on Monday with a 53-40 victory over Morristown.
Scarlett Glasser-Nehls paced the Warriors with 12 points and Mahogany Jenkins racked up 10 points and 12 rebounds to boost Watchung Hills. Sophomore Bella Murray added 10 points and 5 steals while seniors Jayden Baltuch and Alexa Santo each pitched in 9 points.
Tara O’Neill led the scoring for the Colonials (7-5) with 12 points.
The Colonials gave the Somerset County team, now 14-1 on the year, all it wanted for much of the game, trailing by two at halftime. Morristown led by as many as six points in the first half before Watchung Hills rallied.
“I thought our kids did a great job,” said Morristown head coach Jim Pisciotto. “Watchung is a great team. They’re well coached and they did a great job out there.”
Tara O’Neill led the Colonials with 12 points. She hit a pair of 3-pointers on the night.
Watchung Hills took a four-point lead early in the third after Alexa Santo finished off glass on a tough shot. Her 3-pointer later gave Watchung Hills a 30-23 advantage. O’Neill was productive and made some timely shots for Morristown. A 3-point play by Aziah Adams cut Watchung Hills’ lead to two, 30-28, but then Scarlett Glasser-Nehls answered with a 3-pointer on the other end.
A key sequence occurred shortly after, as play was stopped after a Morristown player was seen in agony and the trainer rushed over. There was a question as to who would have possession after, as the whistle was blown on a live ball.
Watchung Hills was given possession to the shock of the Morristown side. The Colonials were then whistled for a charging foul after getting a steal that negated a basket.
A technical foul was issued to the Morristown bench following the charge call, and the Warriors took advantage after that.
“It’s tough to come back from that,” Pisciotto said. “It just worked against us. I’m very proud of our kids. It was good to see sophomores get in there, some freshmen. I think they did some quality stuff out there stepping up. I thought our kids did a good job.”
Morristown is the eighth seed in the upcoming Morris County Tournament. The Colonials will host 25th-seeded Parsippany in the preliminary round.
Pisciotto thinks his team is getting there.
“I think we’re getting better,” he said. “I think, even in our loss today, there are a lot of good things we can take. Playing defense, holding them to 17 points in the first half, it’s not bad. I think we just need to fine-tune our offense a little more.”
Passing and communication are two elements of focus, according to the head coach.
“Those are two things that really bring you together as a team,” Pisciotto added. “We’re just not consistent with it. We can’t have two or three-minute lapses against good teams.”
Morristown will host Newton on Thursday night at 7.
Watchung Hills next travels to Hillsborough on Tuesday.