RANDOLPH, NJ - The basketball season started out this weekend with the boys and girls teams both playing Morris Knolls on Friday and Sparta on Saturday. Friday night's opener with West Morris saw both teams come up short, and Saturday against Sparta had a mixed result.
For the boys, the opener was a high-scoring game where they played well, but West Morris erased a late Randolph lead to force overtime. West Morris kept the momentum into OT, and earned a 70-67 victory. The Rams were led by Michael Talbert with 26 points and five rebounds, and Barry Lynch who contributed 22 points and seven assists.
The opener for the girls saw an evenly played game where every quarter was a virtual draw on the scoreboard, except for the second. West Morris had an 18-11 advantage in that quarter which turned out to be the difference in a 55-47 victory for West Morris. Aliyah Huland El led the charge for the Rams with 35 points and 14 rebounds.
In the boys game on Saturday, Sparta used a strong defense to keep the scoring low, limiting the Rams to only 12 first half points. Trailing, 24-12, Randolph rallied with a big third quarter and cut the lead to 34-31, but Sparta pulled away in the fourth for a 51-43 victory. Barry Lynch led the way for Randolph with 15 points, Pat Archer had 13 points and eight rebounds, and Michael Talbert contributed 11 points and seven assists.
The girls salvaged the weekend in their Saturday game by jumping on Sparta fast and furiously, racing out to a 23-2 first quarter lead. It was a monster game for Huland El, who dominated play with 32 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, six steals, and five blocks. The Rams cruised to a 59-27 victory, while also getting seven points from Jennie LaMancuso and six points from Kiera Cesareo.