RANDOLPH, NJ- On Saturday February 25th, the Randolph Rams Boys JV Basketball Team competed in the finals of the Morris County JV Basketball Tournament. The Rams, a No.3 seed, had advanced to the finals with victories over Morristown, Pequannock, and Morris Knolls. In the finals, played at Morristown-Beard, they met up with the No.1 seed, Montville, who came into the game with a 22-1 record.
The Rams were extremely excited to compete against Montville for the championship. They knew the team was talented and wanted to beat the best for the county title. Randolph got off to a strong start before a raucous crowd. Feeding off the energy from the student section at the game, the Rams raced out to a 12-8 lead after the first quarter and held a 23-15 lead going into halftime.
The 3rd quarter would test the mental toughness of the Rams, with Montville scoring the first 6 points of the quarter. The remainder of the game would be closely contested, featuring no Randolph lead greater than 6 points.
In the 4th quarter, Montville pulled ahead by two, but the Rams were able to regain their lead. After watching Montville tie the game late in the 4th quarter, the Rams relied on their teamwork to get a bucket down the stretch. Executing their spread offense perfectly, Algin Utku hit Josh Nathan off the pick and roll for the go-ahead basket with twenty-five seconds remaining.
After Montville called timeout, the Rams huddled to discuss the need for one final stop. The defense stepped up big, and with two seconds remaining contested and blocked a forced Montville shot. The Rams secured the rebound and, as the buzzer sounded, celebrated with all their fans at center court in an impressive 41-39 victory. “We stressed team defense and communication all season,” said Coach Matt Hemmer, “and the boys executed when it mattered most.”
The JV Rams completed a great season with an 18-4 record. They won the Wayne Hills Holiday Tournament, went undefeated in their conference, and secured a JV Morris County Tournament championship for a second consecutive year.
The 2016/2017 roster included:
Chris Archer, Jack Benard, Tyler Berg, Ross Brenner, Chris Cassese, Brian Eames, Jack Eames, Will Flanagan, Noah Limon, John Meola, Hunter Murphy, Josh Nathan, Ryan Polesuk, Ben Siegel, Algin Utku
Coach – Matt Hemmer